Publications by authors named "Rita Alaggio"

165 Publications

Xanthomatous nevus: A potential new entity.

JAAD Case Rep 2021 May 27;11:117-119. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Dermatology Unit and Genodermatosis Unit, Genetics and Rare Diseases Research Division, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdcr.2021.03.041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081870PMC
May 2021

Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor with "Pure" Spindle Cell Morphology and Novel Fusion Transcript: Expanding the Morphological and Molecular Spectrum of This Rare Entity.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Mar 18;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, "G. F. Ingrassia", Anatomic Pathology, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy.

Background: Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a rare pediatric soft tissue neoplasm composed of small round tumor cells with prominent stromal desmoplasia, polyphenotypic differentiation and gene fusion. We, herein, present a unique case of DSRCT, exhibiting a pure spindle cell morphology, absence of desmoplastic stroma and showing a novel fusion transcript.

Methods: A 12-year-old boy presented multiple intra-abdominal, confluent and mass-forming nodules that affected the entire abdominal and pelvic cavities.

Results: Histologically, the nodules were composed of spindle cells with scant cytoplasm and oval nuclei arranged into short, intersecting fascicles and set in a scant, non-desmoplastic, stroma. Immunohistochemically, neoplastic cells were stained with vimentin, desmin, WT-1 (C-terminus antibodies) and EMA. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed the presence of an unusual chimeric transcript, composed of an in-frame junction of exon 9 of to exon 7 of , confirming the histological diagnosis of DSRCT.

Conclusions: The present case contributes to widen the morphological spectrum of this entity; notably, the additional presence of a novel chimeric fusion transcript contributes to making the present case even more unique. Whether the detection of the above-mentioned fusion transcripts could explain the unusual morphology of the tumor remains to be established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11030545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003219PMC
March 2021

Pediatric lipoblastoma with a novel EEF1A1-PLAG1 fusion.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2021 Jul 22;60(7):525-526. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Pathology Unit, Department of Laboratories, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22945DOI Listing
July 2021

Pediatric Benign Tumors With a Skeletal Muscle Component: Myogenin Expression, Diagnostic Pitfalls, and New Molecular Insights.

Pediatr Dev Pathol 2021 May-Jun;24(3):213-226. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Pathology, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesú, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: Benign tumors with skeletal muscle differentiation are rare and their characterization in the literature is limited. We present a series of twelve pediatric benign tumors with rhabdomyomatous differentiation including seven rhabdomyomatous mesenchymal hamartomas, four fetal rhabdomyomas, and one benign triton tumor, analyzing myogenic markers as well as clinicopathologic and molecular features. A review of the literature was also performed with an emphasis on myogenic marker expression and correlation with molecular features.

Methods And Results: Cases obtained from three tertiary pediatric hospitals were retrospectively reviewed. Eleven of twelve cases expressed myogenin in rare to greater than 15% of cells. Five of nine cases had rare to 70-80% of cells positive for MyoD1. One fetal rhabdomyoma demonstrated homozygous deletions in . The benign triton tumor harbored a mutation. Review of the literature identified 160 pediatric benign tumors with skeletal muscle differentiation of which 9 reported myogenin positivity.

Conclusions: Myogenin and MyoD1 may be variably expressed in benign lesions with skeletal muscle differentiation. Recognition of key morphologic features remains critical to diagnose these lesions and, in rhabdomyoma, to exclude malignancy. Our series expands the knowledge of the relationship between rhabdomyoma and rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) by identifying a shared molecular alteration in
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1093526621998932DOI Listing
March 2021

Melanotic Neuroectodermal Tumor of Infancy (MNTI) and Pineal Anlage Tumor (PAT) Harbor A Medulloblastoma Signature by DNA Methylation Profiling.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Feb 9;13(4). Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Pediatric Onco-Hematology and Cell and Gene Therapy, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, 00165 Rome, Italy.

MNTI is a rare tumor of indeterminate histogenesis and molecular signature. We performed methylation and copy number variation (CNV) profiles in patients with MNTI ( = 7) and PAT ( = 1) compared to the methylation brain tumor classifier v11b4 (BT-C) and the medulloblastoma (MB) classifier group 3/4 v1.0 (MB3/4-C). The patients' mean age was 8 months (range: 4-48). The BT-C classified five MNTIs and one PAT (relapse) as class family MB-G3/G4, subclass group 3 (score: >0.9). The remaining two MNTIs and PAT (primary) were classified as class family plexus tumor, subclass pediatric (scores: >0.45). The MB3/4-C classified all MNTIs as high-risk MB-G3, Subtype II (score: >0.45). The primary PAT was classified as subtype III (score: 0.99) and its relapse as subtype II/III. MNTI and PAT clustered close to MB-G3. CNV analysis showed multiple rearrangements in one PAT and two MNTIs. The median follow-up was 54 months (four MNTIs in remission, one PAT died). In conclusion, we demonstrated that MNTI shares a homogenous methylation profile with MB-G3, and possibly with PAT. The role of a multipotent progenitor cell (i.e., early cranial neural crest cell) in their histogenesis and the influence of the anatomical site, tumor microenvironment, and other cytogenetic events in their divergent biologic behavior deserve further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13040706DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916108PMC
February 2021

Extra-appendicular neuroendocrine tumors: A report from the TREP project (2000-2020).

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 Apr 1;68(4):e28880. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Pediatric Surgery, Department of Emergencies and Organ Transplantation, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Consorziale Ospedale Pediatrico Giovanni XXIII, Bari, Italy.

Background: Extra-appendicular neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are very rare tumors. While diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines are well established for adults, data on children and adolescents are lacking.

Patients And Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of extra-appendicular NET registered on the Tumori Rari in Età Pediatrica - Rare Tumors in Pediatric Age (TREP) from 2000 to 2020 were analyzed. Clinical characteristics including patients' presentation, tumor features, treatment, and outcome were reviewed.

Results: Twenty-seven patients with extra-appendicular NET registered on TREP with a median age of 173 months. The primary site was the pancreas (12) or bronchi (10) in the majority of cases. Other primary sites included the thymus, Meckel's diverticulum, and liver. Thirteen (48%) of tumors extended beyond the organ of origin: four invaded neighboring organs and/or regional nodes and nine involved distant metastases. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) for those with localized disease was superior to those with metastatic disease (66.6% 95% CI 5-95% vs 33% 95% CI 5-68%, respectively; P = .005). A complete resection was feasible in 17 patients. The 3-year EFS in these patients was superior to those with no or incomplete resection (R0 vs R1/R2, respectively; P = .007). Overall, 16 children had no evidence of disease at follow-up, and one is alive with disease; five died, and five were lost to follow-up.

Conclusions: Data from our experience demonstrated a wide heterogeneity of presentation and outcome of these tumors. Localized disease and complete surgical resection were the main prognostic factors of good outcome. Other therapies may have a role in prolonging survival in metastatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28880DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinicopathologic and Molecular Characterization of Four Cases of Pediatric Salivary Secretory Carcinoma (SSC), One with ETV6-RET Fusion.

Head Neck Pathol 2021 Jan 18. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu (OPBG), and Istituto Ricovero E Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, Italy.

Salivary gland secretory carcinoma (SSC) is a neoplasm with characteristic histologic features, similar to those of secretory carcinoma of the breast. Only a few pediatric SSC cases have been reported, all with ETV6-NTRK3 fusion. We present four new pediatric SSC examples, one with a novel ETV6-RET fusion. Four cases of SSC were diagnosed between 2010 and 2020: 2 boys, 7 and 9 year-old with parotid tumors (1.5 and 1.3 cm, respectively); and two 14 year-old girls: one with a submandibular tumor (2.1 cm), and one with a parotid lesion (1.2 cm). Histologically, all tumors were similar: well-circumscribed lesions composed by mid-size, monotonous cells with eosinophilic and sometimes vacuolated cytoplasm. The nuclei are oval to round with open chromatin and a single nucleolus. There are duct-like structures and microcysts with colloid-like material. Immunohistochemically, tumor cells are positive for S100, CK7, mammaglobin and GATA3. A classic ETV6-NTRK3 translocation was confirmed in the three parotid tumors; an ETV6-RET fusion was demonstrated in the submandibular lesion. All patients underwent complete surgical resection and are alive without tumor recurrence after a follow-up time ranging from one to 4 years. Pediatric SSC is extremely rare but their characteristic morphology and immunohphenotype facilitate their diagnosis. We describe the first pediatric case with the recently reported ETV6-RET fusion. Similar to adult cases, this tumor is morphologically undistinguishable from those carrying the classic ETV6-NTRK3 translocation. Thus, in pediatric cases with morphology suggestive of SSC and negative ETV6-NTRK3 by RT-PCR, other possible fusions should be investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12105-021-01288-7DOI Listing
January 2021

Expanding the spectrum of EWSR1-PATZ1 rearranged CNS tumors: An infantile case with leptomeningeal dissemination.

Brain Pathol 2020 Dec 30:e12934. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Pathology Unit, Department of Laboratories, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

We report on a case of EWSR1-PATZ1 rearranged brain tumor occurring in a 17 month-old child, originally interpreted as an infantile glioblastoma. Our case shows important analogies with the 2 previously reported cases, including the intraventricular location, the histologic appearance (pushing borders, oligodendrocyte-like morphology, rich vascular network) and the glioneural immunophenotype, supporting the role of these features as relevant clues to the diagnosis. On the other hand, our case displays unique characteristics, i.e. the onset in an infant, the presence of a focal high-grade component and the leptomeningeal dissemination, pointing to the importance of considering this entity in the differential diagnosis of an infantile glial/glioneural tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12934DOI Listing
December 2020

Clinical, Genetic, and Prognostic Features of Adrenocortical Tumors in Children: A 10-Year Single-Center Experience.

Front Oncol 2020 15;10:554388. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Cell and Gene Therapy, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Pediatric adrenocortical tumors (ACTs) are very rare endocrine neoplasms in childhood. In this study, we performed a retrospective analysis of children with ACT treated at our institution by examining clinical and genetic disease features, treatment strategies, and outcomes. We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of 13 children treated at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital from November 2010 to March 2020. The median age at diagnosis was 17 months (range = 0-82 months). The female: male ratio was 3.3/1. Mixed symptomatology (>1 hormone abnormality) was the most common presentation (46.1%). In three cases, the tumor was detected during prenatal or perinatal echographic screening. All patients presented with localized disease at diagnosis and underwent total adrenalectomy. Six patients were identified as having malignancies according to the Wieneke scoring system, five benign, and two undetermined. Seven patients underwent mitotane adjuvant therapy for 12 months. There was metastatic disease in three patients, with no correlation with age or Wieneke score. The most common sites of metastases were the liver and lungs. Metastatic patients were treated with surgery ( = 2), mitotane ( = 1), chemotherapy ( = 2) associated with anti-EGFR ( = 1), or immunotherapy with anti-PD1 (pembrolizumab) ( = 1); two patients achieved complete disease remission. Overall 2- and 5-year survival rates were 100%, with a median follow-up of 5 years (range = 2-9.5 years). Two- and 5-year disease free survival was 76.9 and 84.6%, respectively (95% confidence interval = -66.78-114.76 months). All patients are alive, 12 without disease, and one with stable disease. Genetic analyses showed TP53 germline mutations in six of eight patients analyzed (five inherited, one ). One patient had Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, with mosaic paternal uniparental disomy of chromosome 11, in both neoplastic and healthy adrenal tissue. We report the cases of 13 patients treated for ACT, including 12 aged <4 years at diagnosis, with a relative short time from symptoms onset. Our cohort experienced an excellent prognosis. TP53 mutation was found in 75% of tested patients (6/8) confirming the need to perform genetic tests and familial counseling in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.554388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7593337PMC
October 2020

The spectrum of rare central nervous system (CNS) tumors with EWSR1-non-ETS fusions: experience from three pediatric institutions with review of the literature.

Brain Pathol 2021 Jan 6;31(1):70-83. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

General Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, Department of Medicine-DIMED, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

The group of CNS mesenchymal (non-meningothelial) and primary glial/neuronal tumors in association with EWSR1-non-ETS rearrangements comprises a growing spectrum of entities, mostly reported in isolation with incomplete molecular profiling. Archival files from three pediatric institutions were queried for unusual cases of pediatric (≤21 years) CNS EWSR1-rearranged tumors confirmed by at least one molecular technique. Extra-axial tumors and cases with a diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma (EWSR1-ETS family fusions) were excluded. Additional studies, including anchored multiplex-PCR with next-generation sequencing and DNA methylation profiling, were performed as needed to determine fusion partner status and brain tumor methylation class, respectively. Five cases (median 17 years) were identified (M:F of 3:2). Location was parenchymal (n = 3) and undetermined (n = 2) with topographic distributions including posterior fossa (n = 1), frontal (n = 1), temporal (n = 1), parietal (n = 1) and occipital (n = 1) lobes. Final designation with fusion findings included desmoplastic small round cell tumor (EWSR1-WT1; n = 1) and tumors of uncertain histogenesis (EWSR1-CREM, n = 1; EWSR1-CREB1, n = 1; EWSR1-PLAGL1, n = 1; and EWSR1-PATZ1, n = 1). Tumors showed a wide spectrum of morphology and biologic behavior. For EWSR1-CREM, EWSR1-PLAGL1 and EWSR1-PATZ1 tumors, no significant methylation scores were reached in the known brain tumor classes. Available outcome (4/5) was reported as favorable (n = 2) and unfavorable (n = 2) with a median follow-up of 30 months. In conclusion, we describe five primary EWSR1-non-ETS fused CNS tumors exhibiting morphologic and biologic heterogeneity and we highlight the clinical importance of determining specific fusion partners to improve diagnostic accuracy, treatment and monitoring. Larger prospective clinicopathological and molecular studies are needed to determine the prognostic implications of histotypes, anatomical location, fusion partners, breakpoints and methylation profiles in patients with these rare tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12900DOI Listing
January 2021

Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) Over-Expression and Prognostic Implication in Pediatric Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 12;21(16). Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Research Unit of Molecular Genetics of Complex Phenotypes, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital and IRCCS, 00165 Rome, Italy.

Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is over-expressed and is correlated with aggressiveness in adult hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Inhibition of FAK decreases HCC invasiveness by down-regulating Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), an epigenetic controller, that acts in transcriptional repression of a large number of genes via histone 3 methylation of lysine 27 (H3K27me3). Here, we investigated the hepatic expression of total FAK, EZH2, H3K27me3, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in 17 pediatric HCCs and 8 healthy livers (CTRL). Quantitative imaging analysis showed that FAK gene/protein expression is up-regulated in HCCs compared to CTRL and, among tumor samples the levels of this gene/protein are significantly higher in cirrhotic HCCs than in a healthy milieu. Accordingly, the protein levels of EZH2 were also significantly increased in HCCs from a cirrhotic background. Intriguingly, the protein expression of FAK, EZH2, and PCNA significantly inversely correlated with tumor size. Finally, in HCC samples, mainly in cirrhotic background, the up-regulation of FAK gene positively correlated with that observed in β-Catenin gene. Conclusion: FAK gene/protein is over-expressed in pediatric HCCs concomitantly to EZH2 protein and β-Catenin gene, with a more significant up-regulation in a cirrhotic background. This triad of interactors deserves further investigations for translational application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460809PMC
August 2020

Novel APOD-GLI1 rearrangement in a sarcoma of unknown lineage.

Histopathology 2021 Jan 25;78(2):338-340. Epub 2020 Oct 25.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14235DOI Listing
January 2021

Pediatric Soft Tissue Tumors With BCOR ITD Express EGFR but Not OLIG2.

Pediatr Dev Pathol 2020 Nov-Dec;23(6):424-430. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu, Istituto Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Somatic internal tandem duplication of 3' of ( ITD) has been found in clear cell sarcomas of the kidney (CCSK), soft tissue undifferentiated round cell sarcomas/primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumors of infancy (URCS/PMMTI), and a subgroup of central nervous system high-grade neuroepithelial tumors (CNS-HGNET). ITD+ tumors share morphologic features. Expression of OLIG2 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been reported in CNS-HGNET with ITD. Here, we characterize OLIG2 and EGFR expression in URCS/PMMTI with BCOR ITD.

Methods: Paraffin blocks of 9 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed soft tissue BCOR ITD+ tumors (URCS/PMMTI) were immunophenotyped for OLIG2 and EGFR expression and scored semiquantitatively by percentage of positive cells and intensity of staining as negative, 1+, 2+, and 3+. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for EGFR amplification was performed (amplification /CEP7 ratio ≥2.0).

Results: All 9 tumors showed membrane/cytoplasmic expression of EGFR, strong and diffuse (3+) in 8 cases; weak (+2) in 1. FISH detected no EGFR amplification. OLIG2 was negative in all.

Conclusions: EGFR is overexpressed in pediatric URCS/PMMTI with BCOR ITD and may be related to transcriptional upregulation of EGFR by BCOR ITD. OLIG2 negative staining differentiates URCS/PMMTI from CNS-HGNET. This finding may further support the possibility that these tumors have a different stem cell of origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1093526620945528DOI Listing
August 2020

New molecular insights into the pathogenesis of lipoblastomas: clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular analysis in pediatric cases.

Hum Pathol 2020 10 18;104:30-41. Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA; Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA. Electronic address:

Lipoblastomas can occasionally require further molecular confirmation when occurring outside of the usual age groups or demonstrating unusual morphology. We reviewed 28 lipoblastomas with 16 controls. Lipoblastomas were subdivided into myxoid (n = 7), classic (n = 9), or lipoma-like (n = 12) subtypes. PLAG1 immunohistochemistry, PLAG1 fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and targeted RNA sequencing were performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. Karyotypes were available in a subset of lipoblastomas (n = 9). Gene rearrangements were identified in 17/25 (68%) lipoblastomas, including PLAG1 (15/25, 60%) and HMGA2 (2/25, 8%). Five novel fusion partners (DDX6, KLF10, and KANSL1L with PLAG1 and EP400 and FGD6 with HMGA2) were found. PLAG1 immunohistochemistry was positive (nuclear, moderate/strong) in myxoid and classic subtypes lipoblastomas with preferential expression in mesenchymal cells within myxoid stroma and fibrous septa and negative in all controls. When comparing PLAG1 immunohistochemistry with molecular testing (FISH and/or RNA sequencing and/or karyotype), concordant results were noted in 13/25 (52%) cases, increasing to 15/25 (60%) after slight adjustment of the PLAG1 FISH positive threshold. In myxoid and classic lipoblastomas, PLAG1 immunohistochemistry seems to be a better surrogate marker for PLAG1 rearrangement, as compared with lipoma-like subtypes. In lipoma-like subtypes, targeted RNA sequencing appears to detect PLAG1 fusions better than FISH and immunohistochemistry. The preferential expression of PLAG1 in the mesenchymal and fibroblast-like cells deserves further investigation as the putative cell of origin in lipoblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2020.07.016DOI Listing
October 2020

Loss of histone H3 trimethylation on lysine 27 and nuclear expression of transducin-like enhancer 1 in primary intracranial sarcoma, DICER1-mutant.

Histopathology 2021 Jan 9;78(2):265-275. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Aims: Primary intracranial sarcoma, DICER1-mutant is a recently described central nervous system tumour with specific genomic and DNA-methylation profiles. Although some of its histological features (focal spindle-cell morphology, intracytoplasmic eosinophilic granules, and focal heterologous differentiation) are common across most reported cases, the presence of significant histological variability and the lack of differentiation pose diagnostic challenges. We aim to further define the immunoprofile of this tumor.

Methods And Results: We reviewed the clinical history and performed immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein, oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2, SOX2, SOX10, S100, histone H3 trimethylated on lysine 27 (H3K27me3), desmin, myogenin, CD99, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) and transducin-like enhancer of split 1 (TLE1) on six primary intracranial sarcomas, DICER1-mutant, with appropriate controls. Targeted exome sequencing was performed on all cases. The sarcomas showed diffuse (n = 4), mosaic (n = 1) or minimal (≤5%, n = 1) loss of H3K27 trimethylation and nuclear TLE1 expression (n = 6). Four had immunohistochemical evidence of myogenic differentiation. SOX2, SOX10, S100 and EMA were negative; CD99 expression ranged from focal cytoplasmic (n = 4) to crisp diffuse membranous (n = 2). One tumour had focal cartilaginous differentiation. Similar immunohistochemical findings were observed in a pleuropulmonary blastoma (albeit with focal TLE1 expression), a DICER1-related pineoblastoma, and an embryonal tumour with a multilayered rosette-like DICER1-related cerebellar tumour. Targeted exome sequencing confirmed the presence of pathogenic biallelic DICER1 mutations in all tumours included in this study.

Conclusion: We conclude that H3K27me3 and TLE1 immunostains, when utilised in combination, can be helpful diagnostic markers for primary intracranial sarcoma, DICER1-mutant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14217DOI Listing
January 2021

Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas in children: Data from the Italian Cooperative Study (TREP).

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 08 3;67(8):e28332. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Pediatric Surgery Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, University Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy.

Background: Pheochromocytomas (PCs) are neuroendocrine tumors arising from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland, and paragangliomas (PGLs) are their extra-adrenal counterparts arising from ganglia along the sympathetic/parasympathetic chain. Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment. A sporatic or inherited germline mutation is commonly associated.

Materials And Methods: Among over 1000 patients registered into the Tumori Rari in Età Pediatrica-rare tumors in pediatric age project-from 2000 to 2019, 50 were affected by PC/PGL. All clinical and therapeutic data were evaluated.

Results: Twenty-eight patients had PC and 22 had PGL. Age at diagnosis ranged between 5 and 17 years. Thirty-five patients had symptoms related to catecholamine hypersecretion; in 7 of 50 patients, diagnosis was incidental or done during assessment of a familial syndrome. In all cases, conventional imaging was effective to assess the presence of a tumor. In addition, 18 of 38 functional imaging studies were positive (61%). Forty-eight patients were eligible for surgery: a complete resection was more frequently achieved in PC than in PGL (26/28 vs 11/22). All relapses were treated with surgery alone, surgery plus medical treatment, or chemotherapy alone; one PC with metastasis at diagnosis received radiotherapy only. Forty-four patients were in the first, second, or third complete remission (10/50 recurred; 8/10 carried a germline mutation). Five of 50 patients were alive with disease. One patient died of disease.

Conclusions: Surgery can be curative in most tumors but it may not be always effective in removing PGLs. Severe postsurgical sequelae may affect these patients. Genetic tests should always be considered in individuals affected, and genetic counseling should be offered to their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28332DOI Listing
August 2020

The importance of age as prognostic factor for the outcome of patients with hepatoblastoma: Analysis from the Children's Hepatic tumors International Collaboration (CHIC) database.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 08 8;67(8):e28350. Epub 2020 May 8.

Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, Utah, Salt Lake City.

Purpose: Treatment outcomes for hepatoblastoma have improved markedly in the contemporary treatment era, principally due to therapy intensification, with overall survival increasing from 35% in the 1970s to 90% at present. Unfortunately, these advancements are accompanied by an increased incidence of toxicities. A detailed analysis of age as a prognostic factor may support individualized risk-based therapy stratification.

Methods: We evaluated 1605 patients with hepatoblastoma included in the CHIC database to assess the relationship between event-free survival (EFS) and age at diagnosis. Further analysis included the age distribution of additional risk factors and the interaction of age with other known prognostic factors.

Results: Risk for an event increases progressively with increasing age at diagnosis. This pattern could not be attributed to the differential distribution of other known risk factors across age. Newborns and infants are not at increased risk of treatment failure. The interaction between age and other adverse risk factors demonstrates an attenuation of prognostic relevance with increasing age in the following categories: metastatic disease, AFP < 100 ng/mL, and tumor rupture.

Conclusion: Risk for an event increased with advancing age at diagnosis. Increased age attenuates the prognostic influence of metastatic disease, low AFP, and tumor rupture. Age could be used to modify recommended chemotherapy intensity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28350DOI Listing
August 2020

Undifferentiated round cell sarcoma with BCOR internal tandem duplications (ITD) or YWHAE fusions: a clinicopathologic and molecular study.

Mod Pathol 2020 09 5;33(9):1669-1677. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Pathology, Hospital Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy.

Until recently, undifferentiated round cell sarcomas (URCS) in infants have been considered a wastebasket diagnosis, composed of various pathologic entities and lacking consistent genetic alterations. The recent identification of recurrent BCOR internal tandem duplications (ITD) and less common alternative YWHAE-NUTM2B/E fusions in half of infantile URCS and the majority of so-called primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumors of infancy (PMMTI) suggests a common pathogenesis with clear cell sarcoma of the kidney which also harbors the same genetic alterations. These tumors also share a similar morphology and immunoprofile, including positivity for BCOR, cyclin D1, and SATB2. In this study, we investigate the largest cohort to date of genetically confirmed URCS and PMMTI with BCOR ITD or YWHAE fusions to better define their morphologic spectrum and clinical behavior. Twenty-eight cases harbored BCOR ITD and five YWHAE fusions, occurring in 29 infants and 4 children, 19 males and 14 females. Microscopically, 20 were classified as URCS and 13 as PMMTI. Follow-up was available in 25 patients, with 14 (56%) succumbing to their diseases at a mean duration of 18-months follow-up (range: 2-62). Six patients remained with no evidence of disease at a mean follow-up of 63 months (range: 4-192), four patients were still alive with disease (mean follow-up: 46 months, range: 4-120), and one died of other causes. Local recurrence and distant metastasis were each observed in 11/25 (44%) of the patients. The overall survival was 42% at 3 years and 34% at 5 years (median survival: 26 months). There was no statistically significant survival difference between cases diagnosed as URCS and PMMTI and between those with BCOR ITD and YWHAE fusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-0557-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483745PMC
September 2020

Fibrous histiocytoma/dermatofibroma in children: the same as adults?

Hum Pathol 2020 05 1;99:107-115. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Pathology, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesú, Rome, 00165, Italy.

Fibrous histiocytoma (FH) or dermatofibroma is a common cutaneous lesion mostly seen in adults and rare in the first two years of life. Two hundred sixty-seven patients younger than 18 years with a diagnosis of FH or dermatomyofibroma, a lesion with morphologic overlap with FH, were identified from the files of a single institution, with only 13 (4.8%) occurring in patients younger than 5 years. Ten patients had either underlying neurologic, autoimmune, or metabolic disorders or a family history of autoimmune conditions. Histologic review of hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunostaining on 75 FHs and dermatomyofibroma in 70 patients showed the following results: 33 classic FHs, 8 classic FHs characterized by a peculiar retiform morphology with thin fascicles of elongated cells forming a network reminiscent of the eruptive variant of FH, 19 deep/cellular variants, 5 aneurysmal variants, 3 lipidized variants (including two lesions in a patient affected by mucopolysaccharidosis IV), 3 dermatomyofibromas, and 4 isolated cases of hemosiderotic, granular cell atypical, and epithelioid FH. Immunostaining for factor XIIIa highlighted a dense network of dendritic cells in FH, which was significantly reduced in the FH with retiform morphology. Smooth muscle actin staining was positive in a high percentage of FHs (85.3%). The current series demonstrates that FH in children may show unique clinical and morphologic features. The retiform pattern with decreased dendritic cells found in congenital lesions and in two older patients with lesions in two locations might have a different pathogenesis, probably related to an altered immune response in very young patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2020.03.012DOI Listing
May 2020

Novel PPP1CB-ALK fusion in spindle cell tumor defined by S100 and CD34 coexpression and distinctive stromal and perivascular hyalinization.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2020 08 4;59(8):495-499. Epub 2020 Apr 4.

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

A novel group of S100- and CD34-positive spindle cell tumors with distinctive stromal and perivascular hyalinization harboring recurrent gene fusions involving kinases including RAF1, BRAF, NTRK1/2/3, and RET have been recently reported. To our knowledge, no such cases harboring ALK rearrangements have been identified. We report a previously healthy 41-year-old male with a 12-cm intramuscular shoulder mass. The tumor was composed of bland-appearing spindled to epithelioid cells, arranged in a patternless pattern in a background of loose myxoid stroma containing striking amianthoid-like stromal collagen and perivascular rings. In accordance with the previously reported tumors, the tumor cells showed diffuse immunopositivity with S100 and CD34, while lacking SOX10 expression. Targeted RNA-based next-generation sequencing identified a novel serine/threonine-protein phosphatase PP1-beta-catalytic subunit (PPP1CB)-ALK fusion gene. Although ALK break-apart was not detected by FISH, likely due to a paracentric inversion of chromosome 2, the presence of the fusion was confirmed by Sanger sequencing showing a 10-bp linker between exon 6 of PPP1CB and intron 19 of ALK while maintaining reading frame. Subsequent ALK-1 immunostain exhibited diffuse cytoplasmic staining in the tumor cells. Our case expands the molecular genetic spectrum of the distinctive group of spindle cell tumors with CD34/S100+ immunophenotype, supporting the important role of various kinases as drivers of oncogenesis. Awareness of this entity including its unique morphologic and immunophenotypic features as well as its interchangeable kinase gene fusions is crucial for correct classification and potential targeted therapy, particularly in aggressive subsets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22844DOI Listing
August 2020

DNA Methylation Profiling for Diagnosing Undifferentiated Sarcoma with Capicua Transcriptional Receptor () Alterations.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Mar 6;21(5). Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Department of Pediatric Onco-Hematology and Cell and Gene Therapy, IRCCS Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, 00165 Rome, Italy.

Undifferentiated soft tissue sarcomas are a group of diagnostically challenging tumors in the pediatric population. Molecular techniques are instrumental for the categorization and differential diagnosis of these tumors. A subgroup of recently identified soft tissue sarcomas with undifferentiated round cell morphology was characterized by Capicua transcriptional receptor () rearrangements. Recently, an array-based DNA methylation analysis of undifferentiated tumors with small blue round cell histology was shown to provide a highly robust and reproducible approach for precisely classifying this diagnostically challenging group of tumors. We describe the case of an undifferentiated sarcoma of the abdominal wall in a 12-year-old girl. The patient presented with a voluminous mass of the abdominal wall, and multiple micro-nodules in the right lung. The tumor was unclassifiable with current immunohistochemical and molecular approaches. However, DNA methylation profiling allowed us to classify this neoplasia as small blue round cell tumor with alterations. The patient was treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by complete surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy. After 22 months, the patient is disease-free and in good clinical condition. To put our experience in context, we conducted a literature review, analyzing current knowledge and state-of-the-art diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical management of rearranged sarcomas. Our findings further support the use of DNA methylation profiling as an important tool to improve diagnosis of non-Ewing small round cell tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7084764PMC
March 2020

NTRK3 overexpression in undifferentiated sarcomas with YWHAE and BCOR genetic alterations.

Mod Pathol 2020 07 7;33(7):1341-1349. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

The BCOR family of tumors includes a number of undifferentiated sarcomas, occurring in various age groups and anatomic sites, characterized by a spindle and round cell phenotype and diffuse immunoreactivity for BCOR. Prior RNA sequencing data revealed that NTRK3 was a top-upregulated gene in BCOR-CCNB3 sarcomas. In this study, we investigate a large cohort of tumors harboring BCOR/YWHAE genetic alterations for NTRK3 upregulation at both the mRNA and protein levels, compared with other sarcoma types. Pan-Trk immunohistochemistry was assessed for intensity and extent. A correlation between NTRK3 expression and the type of BCOR alteration and BCOR immunoreactivity was also performed. Most soft tissue undifferentiated round cell sarcomas with YWHAE or BCOR rearrangements or BCOR internal tandem duplications (ITD) showed NTRK3, but not NTRK1 or NTRK2, upregulation by RNA sequencing data analysis. Cytoplasmic pan-Trk immunoreactivity was also observed in most soft tissue round cell sarcomas with YWHAE rearrangements (100%), BCOR ITD (80%), and BCOR-CCNB3 fusions (67%), as well as clear cell sarcomas of kidney (75%), another BCOR family tumor, and ossifying fibromyxoid tumors with ZC3H7B-BCOR fusion (100%), with variable staining intensity and extent. Pan-Trk staining was also seen in solitary fibrous tumors (100%) and less frequently in synovial sarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, but rarely in other sarcomas tested. Tumors harboring rare fusion variants of BCOR, such as BCOR-CHD9, a novel fusion identified by targeted RNA sequencing, and KMT2D-BCOR, were also positive for pan-Trk staining and NTRK3 overexpression. In conclusion, NTRK3 upregulation resulting in pan-Trk overexpression is common in the BCOR family of tumors as well as in subsets of BCOR-expressing sarcomas through alternative mechanisms. The therapeutic implication of this finding awaits further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-0495-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329614PMC
July 2020

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor: The experience of the European pediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG).

Eur J Cancer 2020 03 30;127:123-129. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy. Electronic address:

Introduction: We report the clinical findings and results of treatment in the cohort of patients with inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) managed according to the European pediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) protocol from 2005 to 2016.

Methods: Patients (<25 years old) with IMT from 9 countries were prospectively registered via a web-based system. Their histology was reviewed by a national/international pathology panel. Immunohistochemistry for ALK assessment was mandatory. No adjuvant therapy was suggested for initially resected tumors. No specific systemic therapy was recommended for cases of unresectable disease.

Results: Among 80 cases of IMT registered, 20 were excluded because pathology review led to a revised diagnosis. Of the remaining 60 patients (median age 9.5 years), 59 had localized, and 1 had multifocal/metastatic disease. The lung was the primary site in 14 cases. IMT developed as a second tumor in 2 cases. Forty cases were ALK-positive, and 20 were ALK-negative. Five-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 82.9% and 98.1%, respectively. No clinical variables correlated statistically with the outcome: survival was the same for ALK-positive and ALK-negative cases. The overall response to systemic therapy was 64%: 8/10 cases responded to vinblastine-methotrexate chemotherapy, and 5/5 to ALK-inhibitors.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated a good overall prognosis for IMT, even for initially unresectable disease and in ALK-negative cases. Chemotherapy is still a valid option for advanced disease. Larger studies involving both pediatric and adult patients are needed to clarify the role of ALK inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.12.021DOI Listing
March 2020

Infantile inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors: clinicopathological and molecular characterization of 12 cases.

Mod Pathol 2020 04 5;33(4):576-590. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors arising in infants are rare, poorly investigated and mostly reported as isolated cases or as a part of larger series thus, their clinicopathological and molecular features are essentially unknown. Archival files from two large pediatric institutions and a tumor registry were queried for pediatric inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors. Available material from patients ≤12 months of age was reviewed. Additional immunostains (ALK-1, D240, WT1) and ALK-FISH studies were performed as needed. Targeted anchored multiplex PCR with next-generation sequencing was done in all cases. A total of 12 of 131 infantile cases (mean 5.5 months) were identified (M:F of 2:1). Anatomic locations included intestinal/mesenteric (n = 6), head/neck (n = 3), and viscera (n = 3). Half of tumors showed a hypocellular myxoid pattern, perivascular condensation, and prominent vasculature with vague glomeruloid structures present in four of them. The remaining cases exhibited a more cellular pattern with minimal myxoid component. ALK-1 immunohistochemistry was positive in most cases (11/12) with cytoplasmic-diffuse (n = 6), cytoplasmic-granular (n = 2), and dot-like (n = 3) staining patterns. ALK fusion partners identified in five cases included EML4, TPM4, RANBP2, and a novel KLC1. Three inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors showed fusions with other kinases including TFG-ROS1 and novel FN1-ROS1 and RBPMS-NTRK3 rearrangements. Favorable outcome was documented in most cases (10/11) with available follow-up (median 17 months) while three patients were successfully treated with crizotinib. In summary, infantile inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors are rare and can exhibit paucicellular, extensively myxoid/vascular morphology with peculiar immunophenotype mimicking other mesenchymal or vascular lesions. All tumors harbored kinase fusions involving ALK, ROS1, and NTRK3 including three novel fusion partners (KLC1, FN1, and RBPMS, respectively). A favorable response to crizotinib seen in three cases supports its potential use in infants as seen in older patients. Awareness of these unusual morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular features is critical for appropriate diagnosis and optimized targeted therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0406-6DOI Listing
April 2020

Myxoinflammatory Fibroblastic Sarcoma of Eyeball in an Infant: A Rare Presentation.

Int J Surg Pathol 2020 May 8;28(3):306-309. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

University of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Myxoinflammatory fibroblastic sarcoma (MIFS) is a rare soft tissue neoplasm most commonly occurring in the distal extremities of adult patients. It is a low-grade neoplasm with high rate of local recurrence but low rate of metastasis. We describe a case of MIFS of eyeball in an infant. An enucleation surgery was performed, and on the basis of histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation, a diagnosis of MIFS was rendered. Till date more than 400 cases of MIFS have been reported with only a single case report of MIFS in an adult in iris. To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first case of MIFS in the eye in a child. Considering its rarity in children and especially in an infant (this seems to be the youngest patient in the literature), close follow-up is essential as the biology of these lesions cannot be predicted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066896919879497DOI Listing
May 2020

SOX9 Immunohistochemistry in the Distinction of Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma From Histologic Mimics: Diagnostic Utility and Pitfalls.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2020 09;28(8):635-640

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH) can be diagnostically difficult because of its varied histologic appearance and potential to occur at unusual sites. The identification of recurrent rearrangements (EWSR1-CREB1, EWSR1-ATF1, and FUS-ATF1) is a helpful diagnostic tool. Additional immunohistochemical markers in AFH could aid in restricting the differential diagnosis and selecting appropriate cases for targeted molecular studies. SOX9 is a transcription factor that is crucial for chondrogenesis and is expressed in neoplasms with chondroid differentiation, and other malignant bone and soft tissue tumors. Recently a role of EWS in regulation of SOX9 expression has been reported, the rearrangements typical of AFH may play a role in SOX9 expression. In this study, we analyzed SOX9 expression in 13 pediatric AFH with varying histology, and an additional 80 cases of other myofibroblastic or fibrohistiocytic lesions. SOX9 expression was present in 11 of 13 AFH, 2 of 53 dermatofibroma (1 aneurysmal and 1 cellular) and 1 calcifying aponeurotic fibroma. The remaining tumors were negative. SOX9 is selectively expressed in AFH and may be a useful maker in combination with desmin, CD99, CD68, and EMA in small biopsies, especially in cases with unusual morphologic features. SOX9 appears to be highly specific for AFH, being weakly expressed in a subset of aneurysmal dermatofibroma and absent in other myofibroblastic lesions, except calcifying aponeurotic fibroma. It should be used with caution when differentiating AFH from malignant neoplasms such as Ewing sarcoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000809DOI Listing
September 2020

Hepatoblastoma and Pediatric Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Update.

Pediatr Dev Pathol 2020 Mar-Apr;23(2):79-95. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Department of Pathology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hepatoblastomas (HBs) and pediatric hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) together account for almost 80% of primary malignant liver tumors in children and adolescents/young adults. Children's Hepatic International Collaboration (CHIC), Children's Oncology Group (COG), SociétéInternationale d'Oncologie Pédiatrique (SIOP), and International Childhood Liver Tumors Strategy Group trials have contributed to define prognostic factors and risk stratification in these tumors. The recently proposed histologic International Consensus classification of HB and HCC in children based on retrospective analysis from CHIC cases represents the base to define entities with homogeneous clinicopathologic and molecular features. This review will provide a morphologic guide for the upcoming International Liver Tumor treatment trial (Pediatric Hepatic International Tumour Trial) to be conducted through several continents. There will be an emphasis on molecular features and immunohistochemical markers for the definition of the individual histologic subtypes of HB and to better characterize the group of liver tumors in the provisional category of hepatocellular neoplasm-not otherwise specified. A brief overview of HCC in children will also be provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1093526619875228DOI Listing
January 2021

Nationwide central diagnosis review for childhood solid tumors: From concept to realization of an Associazione Italiana Ematologia Oncologia Pediatrica (AIEOP) integrated project.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 08 17;66(8):e27749. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Pediatric Onco-Haematology, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Division, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27749DOI Listing
August 2019