Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the peritoneum is genetically defined by mutually exclusive mutations in TRAF7 and CDC42.

Modern Pathology 2018 August 31 [Link]

Stevers M, Rabban JT, Garg K, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Grenert JP, Yeh I, Bastian BC, Zaloudek C, S


Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is an uncommon mesothelial neoplasm that most frequently arises in the peritoneal cavity of women of reproductive age. Whereas malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive tumor associated with poor outcome, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma typically exhibits indolent behavior. However, histologically differentiating between these two entities can be challenging, necessitating the development of distinguishing biomarkers. While the genetic alterations that drive malignant mesothelioma have recently been determined, the molecular pathogenesis of well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is unknown. Here we performed genomic profiling on a cohort of ten well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the peritoneum. We identified that all tumors harbored somatic missense mutations in either the TRAF7 or CDC42 genes, and lacked alterations involving BAP1, NF2, CDKN2A, DDX3X, SETD2, and ALK that are frequent in malignant mesothelioma. We recently identified that another mesothelial neoplasm, adenomatoid tumor of the genital tract, is genetically defined by somatic missense mutations in the TRAF7 gene, indicating a shared molecular pathogenesis between well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma and adenomatoid tumors. To the best of our knowledge, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is the first human tumor type found to harbor recurrent mutations in the CDC42 gene, which encodes a Rho family GTPase. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated intact BAP1 expression in all cases of well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma, indicating that this is a reliable marker for distinguishing well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma from malignant mesotheliomas that frequently display loss of expression. Additionally, all well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma demonstrated robust expression of L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM), a marker of NF-kB pathway activation, similar to that observed in adenomatoid tumors. In contrast, we have previously shown that L1CAM staining is not observed in normal mesothelial cells and malignant mesotheliomas of the peritoneum. Together, these studies demonstrate that well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is genetically defined by mutually exclusive mutations in TRAF7 and CDC42 that molecularly distinguish this entity from malignant mesothelioma.olomon DA