Immunohistochemical staining for KIT (CD117) in soft tissue sarcomas is very limited in distribution.Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Feb; 117(2):188-93.AJ
We performed immunohistochemical analysis for KIT in 365 soft tissue sarcomas. Most tumors evaluated were completely negative for KIT, including all cases of leiomyosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, myxofibrosarcoma, liposarcoma, solitary fibrous tumor, synovial sarcoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, schwannoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, clear cell sarcoma, low-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma, and follicular dendritic cell sarcoma. Tumors showing occasional immunoreactivity for KIT included extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (2/20), Ewing sarcoma/malignant primitive peripheral neuroectodermal tumor (4/20), melanotic schwannoma (3/5), metastatic melanoma (4/20), and angiosarcoma (5/20). In most cases, staining for KIT was focal. Rare tumor cells showing KIT positivity were identified in a small number of other tumors. This study demonstrates very limited expression of KIT in soft tissue tumors other than gastrointestinal stromal tumors and underscores the discriminatory value of KIT immunohistochemical analysis for differential diagnosis. As some of these findings differ markedly from previous reports, it is evident again that variations in immunohistochemical technique can lead to major discrepancies in positive staining. Since treatment eligibility for selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as STI571 hinges on positive immunostaining, standardization and reproducibility of meaningful results are critically important.