Osteocalcin and osteonectin immunoreactivity in extraskeletal osteosarcoma: A study of 28 cases

Julie Fanburg-Smith, Gary L. Bratthauer, Markku Miettinen

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Extraskeletal osteosarcoma (EOSA), a rare malignant soft tissue tumor, is by definition unattached to the skeleton and composed of malignant cells of osteoblastic phenotype which produce osseous matrix (ie, neoplastic bone). Because of its location, it can mimic other soft tissue tumors, and its matrix can be mistaken for hyalinized collagen. Antiosteocalcin (OC) and antiosteonectin (ON), antibodies against two abundant human bone proteins, are explored in the diagnosis of EOSA. Twenty-eight cases coded as EOSA (n = 24) or probable EOSA (n = 4) were identified from the Soft Tissue Registry of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Washington DC). All cases had paraffin blocks available for immunohistochemistry. OC and ON (Biodesign International, Kennebunk, ME, clones OC1 and OST1) immunostaining for tumor cells and matrix was graded on a four-tiered grading system: 1 = focal (< 50%) weak staining; 2 = focal strong staining; 3 = diffuse (≥50%) weak staining; and 4 = diffuse strong staining. Patient ages ranged from 9 to 80 years, with a mean age of 57 years. There were 9 female patients and 19 male patients. The tumor sizes ranged from 1.5 to 15 centimeters, with a mean size of 5.8 centimeters. Locations included the lower extremity (n = 14), trunk (n = 9), upper extremity (n = 4), and head and neck (n = 1). Subtypes included 12 osteoblastic, 4 fibroblastic, 2 chondroblastic, 2 well differentiated, 1 telangiectatic, 1 small cell, and 6 giant cell rich EOSAs; the latter resembled giant cell rich malignant fibrous histiocytomas with neoplastic bone formation. All tumors had both neoplastic cells and bony tumor matrix to evaluate. OC was 82% sensitive for EOSA neoplastic cells (1 to 4+), with immunostaining of neoplastic cells away from bone in 91% of cases, and 75% for bony tumor matrix (2 to 4+). ON was 93% sensitive for EOSA neoplastic cells (2 to 4+), yet only 39% for bony tumor matrix (1 to 4+). In 100% giant cell rich EOSA, neoplastic cells were positive for OC and ON (2 to 4+). OC showed 100% specificity for osteoblasts as it was nonreactive in all nonbone cells. ON was not specific for osteoblasts but consistently immunostained other cell types in our EOSA tumors: fibroblasts (100%), pericytes (96%), endothelial cells (92%), chondrocytes (5/5), basal layer of skin epithelium (1/4), nerves (2/2), and osteoclastic giant cells (64%). ON also stained several other cell types in normal and neoplastic tissues in our battery of preliminary stainings; OC was negative in all nonosteoblastic tissues and tumors. Both OC and ON were specific for osteoid matrix as they were nonreactive in both collagen and cartilage matrix. OC is a sensitive and specific marker for bone cells and would be helpful in identifying EOSA, even in the absence of neoplastic bone on small biopsies. ON and OC (more sensitive) will both distinguish malignant bone from collagen and cartilage matrix, essential to the diagnosis of EOSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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