Programmed death-ligand 1 expression is associated with fibrosarcomatous transformation of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

Kenji Tsuchihashi, Hitoshi Kusaba, Yuichi Yamada, Yuta Okumura, Hozumi Shimokawa, Masato Komoda, Keita Uchino, Tomoyasu Yoshihiro, Nobuhiro Tsuruta, Fumiyasu Hanamura, Kyoko Inadomi, Mamoru Ito, Kosuke Sagara, Michitaka Nakano, Kenta Nio, Shuji Arita, Hiroshi Ariyama, Kenichi Kohashi, Ryuji Tominaga, Yoshinao OdaKoichi Akashi, Eishi Baba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a locally invading tumor, characterized by the presence of the collagen type I α 1 (COL1A1)-platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) β fusion gene. We herein report the case of a 31-year-old man with a history of resection of an abdominal wall DFSP. The patient presented with chest pain and a computed tomography scan revealed a large mass in the posterior mediastinum and another mass in the right lung. The mediastinal mass was a sarcomatous lesion expressing the COL1A1-PDGFβ fusion gene, suggesting that it represented a metastasis of the DFSP following fibrosarcomatous (FS) transformation. Following resection of the mediastinal metastasis and subsequent radiotherapy, the mass in the right lung was also resected. Due to the emergence of pleural and pancreatic tail metastases, the patient was treated with a combination therapy of adriamycin and ifosfamide. After five courses, the disease progressed and the patient was subsequently treated with pazopanib for ~2 months until further progression. Three years after the diagnosis of the mediastinal metastasis of DFSP, the patient was referred to another hospital for palliative care. The expression of programmed cell death 1 ligand (PD-L1) in the primary and metastatic tumors was investigated: PD-L1 expression was detected in the metastasis but not in the primary tumor. Given that the metastatic tumor exhibited FS transformation (DFSP-FS), PD-L1 expression may be induced by FS transformation, contributing to the metastasis through escape from immune surveillance. Further investigation of the PD-L1 pathway in DFSP and DFSP-FS in primary as well as metastatic sites is required to evaluate the clinical efficacy of therapies targeting the PD-L1 signaling cascade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-668
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular and Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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