NUT Carcinoma in a Patient with Unusually Long Survival and False Negative FISH Results

Anne C. McLean-Holden, Samantha A. Moore, Jeffrey Gagan, Christopher A. French, David Sher, John M. Truelson, Justin A. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nuclear protein in testis (NUT) carcinoma is a rare and highly aggressive epithelial malignancy defined by rearrangement of the NUTM1 gene on chromosome 15q14. Histologically, NUT carcinoma is an undifferentiated carcinoma formed by sheets and nests of primitive and monotonous “round blue cells” with foci of abrupt keratinization in a subset. NUT carcinoma runs a fulminant clinical course and is almost always quickly lethal, with a median overall survival of only 6.7 months. There is no consensus regarding treatment for this disease, and most patients respond poorly to conventional chemotherapy and radiation. We report a case of NUT carcinoma in an African-American man who initially presented in 2009 with a tracheal mass at age 28. Although fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays for NUTM1 and BRD4 rearrangements were negative, he was diagnosed based on diffusely positive NUT immunostaining and BRD4-NUTM1 on RNA sequencing. Since his initial presentation, he has undergone multiple surgical procedures and radiation therapy. His tumor has recurred twice, but he has survived for 129 months and is currently alive without disease. Long-term survival of patients with NUT carcinoma is incredibly unusual, especially in patients with tumors that exhibit a BRD4 rearrangement. False negative FISH is a pitfall in diagnosing NUT carcinoma; NUT immunostaining and RNA sequencing are more sensitive diagnostic methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-703
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • BRD4-NUTM1
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Long-term survival
  • NUT carcinoma
  • NUT midline carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology

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