Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a dermal and subcutaneous tumor categorized as a tumor of intermediate malignancy, and its progression in some cases to fibrosarcoma is well known. However, molecular analysis of tumor progression has been limited. The present study investigated microsatellite instability (MSI) of 7 microsatellite markers through high-resolution microsatellite analysis in addition to a mutational analysis of the p53 gene in 44 tumors in 36 patients. The patients were divided into 2 groups: 9 patients with a fibrosarcomatous component in the primary or recurrent/metastasized tumor, designated as the DFSP+FS group, and the remaining 27 patients, designated as the DFSP group. Cases in which the percentage of markers with an additional peak among the markers successfully analyzed was more than 30% was considered MSI high (MSI-H); cases in which microsatellites were stable at all of the successfully examined markers were considered microsatellite stable (MSS); and the remaining cases were considered MSI low (MSI-L). MSI-H cases were observed more frequently in the DFSP+FS group (4 of 9 cases) than in the DFSP group (1 of 27 cases) (P = 0.028, Fischer's exact test). The MSI status of recurrent or metastatic tumors in both the DFSP+FS and the DFSP groups was the same as that in the corresponding primary neoplasms. Furthermore, there was no difference in MSI status between an ordinary DFSP area and a fibrosarcomatous area in 7 tumors that exhibited both areas. p53 mutational analysis revealed 10 point mutations, composed of 4 missense mutations and 6 silent mutations, in 6 of 36 cases (16.7%). A missense mutation was more frequently observed in the DFSP+FS group (3 of 4) than in the DFSP group (1 of 4). Among 3 cases of a missense mutation in the DFSP+FS group, 2 had a mutation only in a fibrosarcomatous area and 1 had a mutation only in a metastatic tumor progressing to fibrosarcoma. These results suggest that MSI and p53 mutations are involved in tumor progression of DFSP to fibrosarcoma as early and late events, respectively.
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