Desmoplastic small round cell tumor

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Omer Kamal, M.D.[2], Sujit Routray, M.D. [3]

Synonyms and Keywords: Desmoplastic small round cell tumour; Desmoplastic small round blue cell tumor; Desmoplastic small round blue cell tumour; Intraabdominal desmoplastic small round blue cell tumor; Desmoplastic small cell tumor; Desmoplastic cancer; Desmoplastic sarcoma; DSRCT; Mesothelioblastoma; Polyphenotypic small round cell tumor

Overview

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is an extremely rare, highly aggressive, and malignant neoplasm initially reported by Gerald and Rosai in 1989. The pathogenesis or histogenesis of desmoplastic small round cell tumor is uncertain; it mainly occurs in adolescents and mostly involves the abdominal and/or pelvic peritoneum. Moreover, it was also reported in epididymis, pleura, soft tissues, bone, ovary, and kidney. The diagnosis can be confirmed by histological and immunohistochemistry studies. CT scan is the most widely used diagnostic modality; abdominopelvic site was the commonest presentation and the disease can occur at other nonserosal surfaces also. Despite multimodality treatments, optimal treatment strategies remain controversial and the prognosis is poor. Current multimodality treatment rarely achieves cure and prolongs life. Here, we described 12 cases of abdominal DSRCT and retrospectively analyzed its clinical, radiological, and biopathological features, highlighting the modalities of treatment

Historical Perspective

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor was first described by pathologists, William L. Gerald and Juan Rosai, in 1989.[1] but as a distinct entity in 1991.[2]

Pathophysiology

Pathogenesis

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is a highly aggressive, rare tumor of mesenchymal origin whose oncogenic effect is presumed to originate from the unique chromosomal translocation t(11;22)(p13:q12), leading to the fusion of the N-terminal domain of Ewing’s sarcoma gene EWS, to the C-terminal domain of Wilms’ tumor suppressor gene, WT1, which is found in most but not all desmoplastic small round cell tumors.[3]

Genetics

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is associated with a unique chromosomal translocation t(11;22)(p13:q12), resulting in an EWS/WT1 transcript that is diagnostic of this tumor. This transcript codes for a protein that acts as a transcriptional activator that fails to suppress tumor growth. The EWS/WT1 translocation product targets ENT4. ENT4 is also known as PMAT.[4][5]

Associated Conditions

There may be a chimeric relationship between desmoplastic small round cell tumor, and Wilms' tumor and Ewing's sarcoma. Together with neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, they form the small cell tumors.[5][6]

Microscopic Pathology

On microscopic histopathological analysis, desmoplastic small round cell tumor is characterized by:[7][8]

  • Broad bands of paucicellular fibrous stroma
  • Small round cells in nests with an undulating sharp border

Immunohistochemistry

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is demonstrated by positivity to tumor markers, such as:[1][7]

Causes

Common causes of desmoplastic small round cell tumor include genetic mutations. A chromosomal translocation, t(11;22)(p13:q12) resulting in an EWS/WT1 transcript, may result in formation of desmoplastic small round cell tumor. This transcript codes for a protein that acts as a transcriptional activator that fails to suppress tumor growth. The EWS/WT1 translocation product targets ENT4. ENT4 is also known as PMAT.[6]

Differentiating Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor from other Diseases

  • In males, desmoplastic small round cell tumor may be mistaken for testicular germ cell tumor while in females, desmoplastic small round cell tumor may be mistaken for ovarian cancer.
  • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor must be differentiated from other small-round blue cell cancers, such as:[9]

Epidemiology and Demographics

Incidence

  • Age-adjusted incidence rate of desmoplastic small round cell tumor for African Americans and Caucasians is 0.05 and 0.02 per 100,000 individuals, respectively.[3]
  • The overall age-adjusted incidence rate of desmoplastic small round cell tumor is 0.03 per 100,000 individuals, with a peak incidence of 0.074 per 100,000 individuals in the 20–24 years of age group.[3]

Age

  • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is a rare disease that tends to affect children and young adults.
  • Peak age of incidence for desmoplastic small round cell tumor is between 20 and 24 years.[3]

Gender

Males are more commonly affected with desmoplastic small round cell tumor than females. The male to female ratio is approximately 4 to 1.[3]

Race

Desmoplatic small round cell tumor usually affects individuals of the African American and Caucasian race. Latin American and Asian individuals are less likely to develop desmoplatic small round cell tumor.[3]

Risk Factors

There are no established risk factors for desmoplastic small round cell tumor

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Natural History

Because the disease can be misdiagnosed or remain undetected, tumors frequently grow large within the abdomen and metastasize or seed to other parts of the body.

Complications

Complications of desmoplastic small round cell tumor include:[10]

Prognosis

  • The prognosis for desmoplastic small round cell tumor remains poor and depends upon the stage of the cancer.
  • The 5-year overall survival rate of patients with desmoplastic small round cell tumor is approximately 15%.[11]

Diagnosis

The diagnosis constitutes [12]

Symptoms

  • There are few early warning signs that a patient has a desmoplastic small round cell tumor.
  • Patients are often young and healthy as the tumors grow and spread uninhibited within the abdominal cavity. These are rare tumors and the symptoms are often misdiagnosed by physicians. The abdominal lump may grow to enormous size before being noticed by the patient.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of desmoplastic small round cell tumor include:

Less Common Symptoms

Less common symptoms of desmoplastic small round cell tumor include:

Physical Examination

Common physical examination findings of desmoplastic small round cell tumor include:[13]

CT

MRI

  • MRI may helpful in delineating the extent of desmoplastic small round cell tumor, if surgery is considered.[8]
  • On MRI, desmoplastic small round cell tumor is characterized by hypo- to isointensity on T1-weighted images. On contrast administration, it has a heterogenous enhancement, due to the fibrous stroma and degenerative features including necrosis, hemorrhage, and calcification.

Treatment

Treatment includes[12]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Zhang G, Liu G, Zhao D, Cui X, Li G (2014). "Desmoplastic small round cell tumor of the abdomen and pelvis: clinicopathological characters of 12 cases". ScientificWorldJournal. 2014: 549612. doi:10.1155/2014/549612. PMC 4060500. PMID 24987737.
  2. Mora J, Modak S, Cheung NK, Meyers P, de Alava E, Kushner B, Magnan H, Tirado OM, Laquaglia M, Ladanyi M, Rosai J (2015). "Desmoplastic small round cell tumor 20 years after its discovery". Future Oncol. 11 (7): 1071–81. doi:10.2217/fon.15.32. PMID 25804122.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Lettieri CK, Garcia-Filion P, Hingorani P (2014). "Incidence and outcomes of desmoplastic small round cell tumor: results from the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database". J Cancer Epidemiol. 2014: 680126. doi:10.1155/2014/680126. PMC 4238280. PMID 25431592.
  4. Ferreira EN, Barros BD, de Souza JE, Almeida RV, Torrezan GT, Garcia S, Krepischi AC, Mello CA, Cunha IW, Pinto CA, Soares FA, Dias-Neto E, Lopes A, de Souza SJ, Carraro DM (November 2016). "A genomic case study of desmoplastic small round cell tumor: comprehensive analysis reveals insights into potential therapeutic targets and development of a monitoring tool for a rare and aggressive disease". Hum. Genomics. 10 (1): 36. doi:10.1186/s40246-016-0092-0. PMC 5116179. PMID 27863505.
  5. 5.0 5.1 de Marcellus C, Sarnacki S, Pierron G, Ranchère-Vince D, Scalabre A, Bolle S, Minard-Colin V, Corradini N, Fayard C, Orbach D (May 2018). "[Desmoplastic small round cell tumor in children, adolescents and young adults]". Bull Cancer (in French). 105 (5): 523–536. doi:10.1016/j.bulcan.2018.01.014. PMID 29576221.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Causes of desmoplastic small round cell tumor. <ref name="pmid27863505">Ferreira EN, Barros BD, de Souza JE, Almeida RV, Torrezan GT, Garcia S, Krepischi AC, Mello CA, Cunha IW, Pinto CA, Soares FA, Dias-Neto E, Lopes A, de Souza SJ, Carraro DM (November 2016). "A genomic case study of desmoplastic small round cell tumor: comprehensive analysis reveals insights into potential therapeutic targets and development of a monitoring tool for a rare and aggressive disease". Hum. Genomics. 10 (1): 36. doi:10.1186/s40246-016-0092-0. PMC 5116179. PMID 27863505.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Thway K, Noujaim J, Zaidi S, Miah AB, Benson C, Messiou C, Jones RL, Fisher C (December 2016). "Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor: Pathology, Genetics, and Potential Therapeutic Strategies". Int. J. Surg. Pathol. 24 (8): 672–684. doi:10.1177/1066896916668637. PMID 27621277.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Kis B, O'Regan KN, Agoston A, Javery O, Jagannathan J, Ramaiya NH (February 2012). "Imaging of desmoplastic small round cell tumour in adults". Br J Radiol. 85 (1010): 187–92. doi:10.1259/bjr/57186741. PMC 3473944. PMID 22128126.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wakahashi S, Sudo T, Ichida K, Sugita S, Hasegawa T, Nagao S, Yamaguchi S, Sakuma T, Yamada H (May 2016). "Diagnosis of desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor by cytogenetic analysis: a case report". Clin Case Rep. 4 (5): 520–3. doi:10.1002/ccr3.558. PMC 4856250. PMID 27190620.
  10. Nabi S, Saste A, Gulati R (2015). "A Rare Case of Metastatic Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour: Diagnosis and Management". Case Rep Oncol Med. 2015: 925453. doi:10.1155/2015/925453. PMC 4546747. PMID 26347069.
  11. Subbiah V, Lamhamedi-Cherradi SE, Cuglievan B, Menegaz BA, Camacho P, Huh W, Ramamoorthy V, Anderson PM, Pollock RE, Lev DC, Qiao W, McAleer MF, Benjamin RS, Patel S, Herzog CE, Daw NC, Feig BW, Lazar AJ, Hayes-Jordan A, Ludwig JA (October 2018). "Multimodality Treatment of Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor: Chemotherapy and Complete Cytoreductive Surgery Improve Patient Survival". Clin. Cancer Res. 24 (19): 4865–4873. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-0202. PMID 29871905.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hayes-Jordan A, LaQuaglia MP, Modak S (October 2016). "Management of desmoplastic small round cell tumor". Semin. Pediatr. Surg. 25 (5): 299–304. doi:10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2016.09.005. PMC 5614508. PMID 27955733.
  13. Abu-Zaid A, Azzam A, Alnajjar A, Al-Hussaini H, Amin T (2013). "Desmoplastic small round cell tumor of stomach". Case Rep Gastrointest Med. 2013: 907136. doi:10.1155/2013/907136. PMC 3690222. PMID 23840979.

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