Clinicopathological variables of sporadic schwannomas of peripheral nerve in 291 patients and expression of biologically relevant markers.

Young ED, Ingram D, Metcalf-Doetsch W, Khan D, Al Sannaa G, Le Loarer F, Lazar AJF, Slopis J, Torres KE, Lev D, Pollock RE, McCutcheon IE
J Neurosurg 129 805-814 09/01/2018

Abstract

OBJECTIVE While sporadic peripheral schwannomas (SPSs) are generally well treated with surgery, their biology is not well understood. Consequently, treatment options are limited. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive description of SPS. The authors describe clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes of patients harboring these tumors, and they assess expression of biomarkers using a clinically annotated tissue microarray. Together, these data give new insight into the biology and management of SPS. METHODS Patients presenting with a primary SPS between 1993 and 2011 (n = 291) were selected from an institutional registry to construct a clinical database. All patients underwent follow-up, and short- and long-term outcomes were assessed. Expression of relevant biomarkers was assessed using a new tissue microarray (n = 121). RESULTS SPSs were generally large (mean 5.5 cm) and frequently painful at presentation (55%). Most patients were treated with surgery (80%), the majority of whom experienced complete resolution (52%) or improvement (18%) of their symptoms. Tumors that were completely resected (85%) did not recur. Some patients experienced short-term (16%) and long-term (4%) complications postoperatively. Schwannomas expressed higher levels of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (2.1) than malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) (1.5, p = 0.004) and neurofibromas (1.33, p = 0.007). Expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 was greater in SPSs (0.91) than in MPNSTs (0.33, p = 0.002) and neurofibromas (0.33, p = 0.026). Epidermal growth factor receptor was expressed in far fewer SPS cells (10%) than in MPNSTs (58%, p < 0.0001) or neurofibromas (37%, p = 0.007). SPSs more frequently expressed cytoplasmic survivin (66% of tumor cells) than normal nerve (46% of cells), but SPS expressed nuclear survivin in fewer tumor cells than in MPNSTs (24% and 50%, respectively; p = 0.018). CONCLUSIONS Complete resection is curative for SPS. Left untreated, however, these tumors can cause significant morbidity, and not all patients are candidates for resection. SPSs express a pattern of biomarkers consistent with the dysregulation of the tumor suppressor merlin observed in neurofibromatosis Type 2-associated schwannomas, suggesting a shared etiology. This SPS pattern is distinct from that of other tumors of the peripheral nerve sheath.

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