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Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization in the Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Neoplasms: A Review

Tanas, Munir R. MD; Goldblum, John R. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: November 2009 - Volume 16 - Issue 6 - p 383-391
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181bb6b86
Review Articles

This paper presents an overview of the role of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in the diagnosis of soft tissue neoplasms. Many soft tissue neoplasms harbor characteristic translocations or amplification of gene regions, which can be assessed by FISH, and can be used to assist in their diagnosis. We discuss the major morphologic categories in which FISH has come to be used including high-grade round cell sarcomas, spindle cell sarcomas, low-grade myxoid neoplasms, adipocytic neoplasms, and malignant melanocytic neoplasms on the basis of a recent review of soft tissue neoplasms which were analyzed by FISH. We also review the molecular alterations (translocations and amplification of gene regions), which have come to define many of these diagnostic entities and the most effective way to evaluate them with FISH with attention to potential pitfalls. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of FISH as a technique when appraising soft tissue neoplasms.

Department of Anatomic Pathology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, The Cleveland Clinic and The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Reprints: John R. Goldblum, MD, Cleveland Clinic, Department of Anatomic Pathology, L25, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.