SYT-SSX fusion is absent in sarcomatoid mesothelioma allowing its distinction from synovial sarcoma of the pleura

Modern Pathology (2007) 20, 617–621; doi:10.1038/modpathol.3800775. [Link]

Nicolas Weinbreck1, Jean Michel Vignaud1,2, Hugues Begueret2, Louise Burke3, Jean Benhattar4, Louis Guillou2,4, Frédérique Capron2 and Françoise Galateau-Salle2,5

  1. 1Departement de Pathologie, CHU de Nancy and EMI 014, Nancy, France
  2. 2Groupe Mesopath, ERI 3 Inserm, CHU Caen, Caen, France
  3. 3Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  4. 4University Institute of Pathology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5ERI 3 Inserm, CHU Caen, Caen, France

Correspondence: Dr JM Vignaud, MD, Departement de Pathologie, Hôpital Central, CHU de Nancy, 54035 Nancy Cedex, France. E-mail:


The diagnosis of sarcomatoid mesothelioma is still a worldwide challenge and it is often difficult, both clinically and by morphological analysis, to differentiate sarcomatoid mesothelioma from synovial sarcoma, the most frequent intrathoracic sarcoma. To confirm the absence of the synovial sarcoma translocation t(X; 18) (SYT-SSX) in sarcomatoid mesothelioma, and to test its usefulness differentiating sarcomatoid mesothelioma from synovial sarcoma, 28 tumours were examined using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. RNA was extracted from paraffin blocks using standard methods, reverse-transcribed and PCR performed. Molecular analysis completed in two independent laboratories showed that sarcomatoid mesothelioma samples were negative for the t(X-18). This result confirms the usefulness of this analysis in differentiating sarcomatoid mesothelioma from synovial sarcoma.

Keywords: sarcomatoid mesothelioma, RT-PCR, t(X; 18), SYT-SSX, synovial sarcoma