Atypical lipomatous tumor: molecular characterization

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Purpose of review

Atypical lipomatous tumors/well-differentiated liposarcomas (ALT/WDLs) are one of the more frequent mesenchymal neoplasms and are characterized by specific chromosome aberrations: supernumerary chromosome or giant marker chromosome or both. Extra copies of known oncogenes such as MDM2, CDK4, SAS, HMGA2 and others are present in this abnormal genetic material.

Recent findings

In the past few years, several papers have further dissected the genetic alterations present in these tumors, allowing the identification of new potential oncogenes.


ALT/WDLs represent therefore an interesting model for assessing the potential role of these oncogenes, not only in the pathogenesis, but also as a therapeutic target.

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