Although chondrosarcomas rarely arise in the skull base, chondrosarcomas and chordomas are the 2 major malignant bone neoplasms occurring at this location. The distinction of these 2 tumors is important, but this distinction is occasionally problematic because of radiological and histological overlap. Unlike chordoma and extracranial chondrosarcoma, no case series presenting a whole-genome analysis of skull base chondrosarcomas (SBCSs) has been reported. The goal of this study is to clarify the genetic characteristics of SBCSs and contrast them with those of chordomas.
The authors analyzed 7 SBCS specimens for chromosomal copy number alterations (CNAs) using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). They also examined IDH1 and IDH2 mutations and brachyury expression.
In CGH analyses, the authors detected CNAs in 6 of the 7 cases, including chromosomal gains of 8q21.1, 19, 2q22-q32, 5qcen-q14, 8q21-q22, and 15qcen-q14. Mutation of IDH1 was found with a high frequency (5 of 7 cases, 71.4%), of which R132S was most frequently mutated. No IDH2 mutations were found, and immunohistochemical staining for brachyury was negative in all cases.
To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first whole-genome study of an SBSC case series. Their findings suggest that these tumors are molecularly consistent with a subset of conventional central chondrosarcomas and different from skull base chordomas.