Primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) is a prototypic malignant small round cell tumor of childhood that is characterized in most cases by t(11;22) resulting in an EWS-FLI1 gene fusion. Once thought to be uncommon, PNET now accounts for almost 20% of malignant soft tissue tumors in children. Increased recognition of PNET is partly due to advances in immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics, which have led to the identification of the tumor in non-classical sites. We report the clinical, histologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular findings of two visceral PNETs of the digestive system - one involving the small intestine and the other involving the hepatic duct. Histologically, each tumor was composed of malignant small cells growing in sheets, nests, and lobules; the tumor cells of both cases showed characteristic immunoreactivity for vimentin and O13 (CD99). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis for t(11;22) using nested primers was performed with RNA extracted from paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed tissue and demonstrated an EWS exon 7 to FLI1 exon 5 fusion in both cases, confirmed by Southern blot hybridization and DNA sequence analysis. These results illustrate the expanded clinicopathologic profile of PNET, and demonstrate that visceral PNETs, despite their unusual sites of presentation, maintain the characteristic immunohistochemical and genetic features of PNETs at more conventional sites.
- Ewing's sarcoma
- Primitive neuroectodermal tumor
- Second malignancy
- Wilms' tumor