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Tumors with NTRK Fusions in Head and Neck Pathology

Presented by Alena Skalova


Latest NTRK Papers

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STRN-NTRK3-rearranged Mesenchymal Tumor of the Uterus

Expanding the Morphologic Spectrum of Tumors with NTRK Fusions

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Secretory Carcinoma of the Skin

Report of 6 Cases, Including a Case with a Novel NFIX-PKN1 Translocation

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Mammary Analogue Secretory Carcinoma of Salivary Gland Origin

An Update and Expanded Morphologic and Immunohistochemical Spectrum of Recently Described Entitiy

Whole Slide Pathology

Select a slide below to view the full slide with annotations and comments by Alena Skalova

MASC Case One

MASC Case One

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MASC Case Two

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ABOUT: Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma

Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma (MASC) (also termed MASCSG; the "SG" subscript indicates salivary gland) is a salivary gland neoplasm that shares a genetic mutation with certain types of breast cancer. MASCSG was first described by Skálová et al. in 2010.[1] The authors of this report found a chromosome translocation in certain salivary gland tumors that was identical to the (12;15)(p13;q25) fusion gene mutation found previously in secretory carcinoma, a subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast.

Fusion gene

The translocation found in MASCSG occurs between the ETV6 gene located on the short arm (designated p) of chromosome 12 at position p13.2 (i.e. 12p13.2) and the NTRK3 gene located on the long arm (designated q) of chromosome 15 at position q25.3 (i.e. 15q25.3) to create the (12;15)(p13;q25) fusion gene, ETV6-NTRK3. This mutant fusion gene also occurs in congenital fibrosarcoma, congenital mesoblastic nephroma, secretory breast cancer (also termed juvenile breast cancer), acute myelogenous leukemia, ALK-negative Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour, and radiation-induced papillary thyroid carcinoma.[2][3][4][5][6] The MASCSG gene codes for the transcription factor protein, ETV6, which suppresses the expression of, and thereby regulates, various genes that in mice are required for normal hematopoiesis as well as the development and maintenance of the vascular network.[7]

The NTRK3 gene codes for Tropomyosin receptor kinase C (also termed TrkC or TEL), the receptor for neurotrophin-3. TrkC is a RTK class VII tyrosine kinase receptor. When bound to neurotrophin-3, it becomes active as a tyrosine kinase to phosphorylate cellular proteins and thereby stimuulate cell signaling pathways that lead to cellular differentiationand growth while inhibiting cellular death. TrkC makes particularly important contributions to development of the central and peripheral nervous systems. NTRK3 forms chromosomal translation-mediated fusions with many other genes in addition to ETV6 to form fused genes that are associated with the induction of a wide range of cancers including those of the lung, thyroid gland, colon, rectum, and brain.[5]

ETV6-NTRK3 fusion genes in some MASCSG disease cases display atypical exon junctions and may be associated with more tissue infiltrating disease and less favorable clinical outcomes.[6]

Fusion protein

The ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene's product, ETV6-NTRK3 protein, contains the N-terminus of ETV6 that is responsible for its [[Dimer (chemistry)|dimerization/ polymerization ETV6, a step required for it to inhibit transcription. The protein's C-terminus contains the C-terminus of the TrkC. The fusion protein lacks transcription regulating activity but has dysregulated, i.e., continuously active tyrosine kinase activity. In consequence of the latter effect, the fusing protein continuously stimulates pro-growth and pro-survival pathways and thereby the malignant growth of its parent cells.[5][7]

Clinical presentation and diagnosis

Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma occurs somewhat more commonly in men (male to female ratio of <1.5:1.0). Patients with this disease have a mean age of 46 years although ~12% of cases occur in pediatric patients. Individuals typically present with symptomless tumors in the parotid salivary gland (68%), buccal mucosa salivary glands (9%), submandibular salivary gland (8%) or in the small salivary glands of the lower lip (5%), upper lip (4%), and hard palate (4%). Histologically, these tumors are described as have a morphology similar to secretory breast carcinoma; they typically having one or more of the following histological patterns: microcystic, papillary-cystic, follicular, and/or solid lobular. Other histological features of these tissues include: the presence of eosinophilic secretions as detected by staining strongly for eosin Y; positive staining with periodic acid-Schiff stain (often after diastase); the presence of vesicular oval nuclei with a single small but prominent nucleolus; and the absence of basophilic Haematoxylin or zymogen granules (i.e. vesicles that store enzymes near the cell's plasma membrane).[6][8]

The cited histology features are insufficient to distinguish MASCSG from other Salivary gland neoplasms such as acinic cell carcinoma, low-grade cribriform cystadenocarcinoma, and adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified. MASCSG can be distinguished from these and other histologically similar tumors by either tissue identification of a) the ETV6-NTRK3fusion gene using Fluorescence in situ hybridization or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction gene detection methods[9] or b) a specific pattern of marker proteins as registered using specific antibody-based detection methods, i.e. MASCSG tissue should have detectable S100 (a family of calcium binding proteins), Mammaglobin (a breast cancer marker]], Keratin 7 (an intermediate filament found in epithelial cells), GATA3 (a transcription factor and breast cancer biomarker), SOX10 (a transcription factor important in neural crest origin cells and development of the peripheral nervous system), and STAT5A (a transcription factor) but lack antibody-detectable TP63 (a transcription factor in the same family as p53) and Anoctamin-1 (a voltage sensitive calcium activated chloride channel).[10][11]

Clinical course and treatment

MASCSG is currently treated as a low-grade (i.e. Grade 1) carcinoma with an overall favorable prognosis. These cases are treated by complete surgical excision. However, the tumor does have the potential to recur locally and/or spread beyond surgically dissectible margins as well as metastasize to regional lymph nodes and distant tissues, particularly in tumors with histological features indicating a high cell growth rate potential.[6][8] One study found lymph node metastasis in 5 of 34 MASCSG patients at initial surgery for the disease; these cases, when evidencing no further spread of disease, may be treated with radiation therapy.[12] The treatment of cases with disease spreading beyond regional lymph nodes has been variable, ranging from simple excision to radical resections accompanied by adjuvant radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, depending on the location of disease.[6][13] Mean disease-free survival for MASCSG patients has been reported to be 92 months in one study.[12]

The tyrosine kinase activity of NTRK3 as well as the ETV6-NTRK3 protein is inhibited by certain tyrosine kinase inhibitory drugs such as Entrectinib and LOXO-101; this offers a potential medical intervention method using these drugs to treat aggressive MASCSG disease.[5] Indeed, one patient with extensive head and neck MASCSG disease obtained an 89% fall in tumor size when treated with entrectinib. This suppression lasted only 7 months due to the tumor's acquirement of a mutation in the ETV6-NTRK3 gene. The newly mutated gene encoded an entrectinib-reisistant ETV6-NTRK3 protein. Treatment of aggressive forms of MASCSG with NTRK3-inhibiting tyrosine kinase inhibiting drugs, perhaps with switching to another type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug if the tumor acquires resistance to the initial drug, is under study.[5]STARTRK-2


1) Skálová A, Vanecek T, Sima R, Laco J, Weinreb I, Perez-Ordonez B, Starek I, Geierova M, Simpson RH, Passador-Santos F, Ryska A, Leivo I, Kinkor Z, Michal M (2010). "Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma of salivary glands, containing the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene: a hitherto undescribed salivary gland tumor entity". The American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 34 (5): 599–608. doi:10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181d9efcc. PMID 20410810.

2) Tognon C, Knezevich SR, Huntsman D, Roskelley CD, Melnyk N, Mathers JA, Becker L, Carneiro F, MacPherson N, Horsman D, Poremba C, Sorensen PH (Nov 2002). "Expression of the ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion as a primary event in human secretory breast carcinoma". Cancer Cell. 2 (5): 367–76. doi:10.1016/S1535-6108(02)00180-0. PMID 12450792.

3) Majewska H, Skálová A, Stodulski D, Klimková A, Steiner P, Stankiewicz C, Biernat W. "Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma of salivary glands: a new entity associated with ETV6 gene rearrangement." Virchows Arch. 2015 Mar;466(3):245-54. doi: 10.1007/s00428-014-1701-8. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

4) Argani, P.; Fritsch, M.; Kadkol, S. S.; Schuster, A.; Beckwith, J. B.; Perlman, E. J. (2000-01-01). "Detection of the ETV6-NTRK3 chimeric RNA of infantile fibrosarcoma/cellular congenital mesoblastic nephroma in paraffin-embedded tissue: application to challenging pediatric renal stromal tumors". Modern Pathology. 13 (1): 29–36. doi:10.1038/modpathol.3880006. ISSN 0893-3952. PMID 10658907.

5) Jump up to:a b c d e Khotskaya YB, Holla VR, Farago AF, Mills Shaw KR, Meric-Bernstam F, Hong DS (2017). "Targeting TRK family proteins in cancer". Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 173: 58–66. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2017.02.006. PMID 28174090.

6) Jump up to:a b c d e Skalova A, Michal M, Simpson RH (2017). "Newly described salivary gland tumors". Modern Pathology. 30 (s1): S27–S43. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2016.167. PMID 28060365.

7) Jump up to:a b De Braekeleer E, Douet-Guilbert N, Morel F, Le Bris MJ, Basinko A, De Braekeleer M (2012). "ETV6 fusion genes in hematological malignancies: a review". Leukemia Research. 36 (8): 945–61. doi:10.1016/j.leukres.2012.04.010. PMID 22578774.

8)Jump up to:a b Khalele BA (2017). "Systematic review of mammary analog secretory carcinoma of salivary glands at 7 years after description". Head & Neck. doi:10.1002/hed.24755. PMID 28370824.

9) Connor A, Perez-Ordoñez B, Shago M, Skálová A, Weinreb I (2012). "Mammary analog secretory carcinoma of salivary gland origin with the ETV6 gene rearrangement by FISH: expanded morphologic and immunohistochemical spectrum of a recently described entity". The American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 36 (1): 27–34. doi:10.1097/PAS.0b013e318231542a. PMID 21989350.

10)Murphy DA, Ely HA, Shoemaker R, Boomer A, Culver BP, Hoskins I, Haimes JD, Walters RD, Fernandez D, Stahl JA, Lee J, Kim KM, Lamoureux J, Christiansen J (2016). "Detecting Gene Rearrangements in Patient Populations Through a 2-Step Diagnostic Test Comprised of Rapid IHC Enrichment Followed by Sensitive Next-Generation Sequencing". Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology : AIMM. doi:10.1097/PAI.0000000000000360. PMID 27028240.

11) Skálová A, Vanecek T, Simpson RH, Laco J, Majewska H, Baneckova M, Steiner P, Michal M (2016). "Mammary Analogue Secretory Carcinoma of Salivary Glands: Molecular Analysis of 25 ETV6 Gene Rearranged Tumors With Lack of Detection of Classical ETV6-NTRK3 Fusion Transcript by Standard RT-PCR: Report of 4 Cases Harboring ETV6-X Gene Fusion". The American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 40 (1): 3–13. doi:10.1097/PAS.0000000000000537. PMID 26492182.

12)Jump up to:a b Stevens TM, Parekh V (2016). "Mammary Analogue Secretory Carcinoma". Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 140 (9): 997–1001. doi:10.5858/arpa.2015-0075-RS. PMID 27575269.

13) Drilon A, Li G, Dogan S, Gounder M, Shen R, Arcila M, Wang L, Hyman DM, Hechtman J, Wei G, Cam NR, Christiansen J, Luo D, Maneval EC, Bauer T, Patel M, Liu SV, Ou SH, Farago A, Shaw A, Shoemaker RF, Lim J, Hornby Z, Multani P, Ladanyi M, Berger M, Katabi N, Ghossein R, Ho AL (2016). "What hides behind the MASC: clinical response and acquired resistance to entrectinib after ETV6-NTRK3 identification in a mammary analogue secretory carcinoma (MASC)". Annals of Oncology. 27 (5): 920–6. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdw042. PMC 4843186. PMID 26884591.



Tumors with NTRK Fusions in Head and Neck Pathology
Slide Deck
Mammary Analogue Secretory Carcinoma of Salivary Gland Origin: An Update and Expanded Morphologic and Immunohistochemical Spectrum of Recently Described Entity
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