Gene expression identifies heterogeneity of metastatic behavior among high-grade non-translocation associated soft tissue sarcomas

Keith M. Skubitz, Amy P.N. Skubitz, Wayne W. Xu, Xianghua Luo, Pauline Lagarde, Jean Michel Coindre, Frédéric Chibon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The biologic heterogeneity of soft tissue sarcomas (STS), even within histological subtypes, complicates treatment. In earlier studies, gene expression patterns that distinguish two subsets of clear cell renal carcinoma (RCC), serous ovarian carcinoma (OVCA), and aggressive fibromatosis (AF) were used to separate 73 STS into two or four groups with different probabilities of developing metastatic disease (PrMet). This study was designed to confirm our earlier observations in a larger independent data set.Methods: We utilized these gene sets, hierarchical clustering (HC), and Kaplan-Meier analysis, to examine 309 STS, using Affymetrix chip expression profiling.Results: HC using the combined AF-, RCC-, and OVCA-gene sets identified subsets of the STS samples. Analysis revealed differences in PrMet between the clusters defined by the first branch point of the clustering dendrogram (p = 0.048), and also among the four different clusters defined by the second branch points (p < 0.0001). Analysis also revealed differences in PrMet between the leiomyosarcomas (LMS), dedifferentiated liposarcomas (LipoD), and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (UPS) (p = 0.0004). HC of both the LipoD and UPS sample sets divided the samples into two groups with different PrMet (p = 0.0128, and 0.0002, respectively). HC of the UPS samples also showed four groups with different PrMet (p = 0.0007). HC found no subgroups of the LMS samples.Conclusions: These data confirm our earlier studies, and suggest that this approach may allow the identification of more than two subsets of STS, each with distinct clinical behavior, and may be useful to stratify STS in clinical trials and in patient management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number176
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 20 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by the Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation, NIH P30 CA77598 for utilizing the support of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center shared resources, and the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Presented in part at the 18th annual meeting of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, November 14–17, 2012, Prague, and the 30th meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Chicago, IL, May 31 - June 4, 2013.


  • Gene expression
  • Heterogeneity
  • Metastasis
  • Microarray
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma
  • Subgroups


Dive into the research topics of 'Gene expression identifies heterogeneity of metastatic behavior among high-grade non-translocation associated soft tissue sarcomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this