Extra-axial chordomas are rare low-grade malignant tumors thought to arise from notochordal remnants in the extra-axial skeleton. Few studies have been done on this neoplasm because of its rarity. In addition, there is a lack of a good in vitro model on which to perform more characterization.Methods:
We describe a twenty-eight-year-old man with a mass in the right scapula. Cytomorphology and immunohistochemistry, including brachyury staining, were used to formulate the final diagnosis. A fragment of the tumor was placed in culture, and cells obtained were injected subcutaneously in an immunocompromised mouse. From the tumor developed in mice, a cell line has been derived and characterized by fluorescence-activated cell-sorting analysis, karyotyping, clonogenicity, and cell and tumor growth curves.Results:
Cytomorphology on the tumor showed nests of round cells with vacuoles and also physaliferous-like cells with uniform nuclei. Immunochemistry revealed a tumor positive for vimentin, moderately positive for S-100 and cytokeratin AE1/AE3, weakly positive for epithelial membrane antigen, and negative for p63 and cytokeratin (CK)-7. Further analysis revealed the tumor was diffusely and strongly positive for brachyury. The cell line derived from the tumor showed rapid doubling-time, a strong expression of mesenchymal cell surface markers, a karyotype of diploid or hypotetraploid clones with numerous chromosomal aberrations, and the ability to form colonies without attachment and to form tumors in immunocompromised mice.Conclusions:
The diagnosis of the extra-axial chordoma is difficult but can be resolved by the detection of a strong brachyury expression. In addition, the derivation of a human extra-axial chordoma cell line could be a useful tool for the basic research of this rare neoplasm.Clinical Relevance:
We describe the importance of brachyury staining in the diagnosis of this tumor. The extra-axial chordoma cell line (EACH-1) may also provide a new research tool to establish new ways of diagnosing and treating this rare malignancy.