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ALK probe rearrangement in a t(2;11;2)(p23;p15;q31) translocation found in a prenatal myofibroblastic fibrous lesion: Toward a molecular definition of an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor family?



A prenatal tumor located in the lumbar paravertebral area was discovered during a routine ultrasound examination at 32 weeks of pregnancy and surgically removed at 4 months of life. The histopathological diagnosis was first suggested to be an infantile desmoid fibromatosis. The tumor karyotype showed a three-way translocation involving both chromosomes 2 and a chromosome 11, t(2;11;2)(p23;p15;q31). Fluorescence in situ hybridization with a probe flanking the ALK gene at 2p23 demonstrated a rearrangement, as previously described in inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs). In light of the genetic analysis, the histopathological diagnosis was revised to IMT, although inflammatory cells were scarce. IMTs are pseudosarcomatous inflammatory lesions that primarily occur in the soft tissue and viscera of children and young adults. Our report describes for the first time the occurrence of IMT during prenatal life. The ALK rearrangement may represent the molecular definition of a subgroup of mesenchymal tumors, not always with complete morphological features of IMT, similar to the model of EWS rearrangement in the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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