IGFBP7, a novel immunohistochemical marker in differentiating dermatofibroma from dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

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Loss of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) has been found to be a critical step in the development of melanoma and colon cancer. To our knowledge, immunostaining of IGFBP7 in various dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) and dermatofibroma (DF) has not been studied before.


To assess the immunostaining of IGFBP7 in DFSPs and DFs and to ascertain whether IGFBP7 is superior to antibodies traditionally used in differentiating DFs from DFSPs.


Immunohistochemical staining was performed on 28 cases of DFSP and 30 cases of DF, using antibodies to IGFBP7, CD34, factor XIIIa (FXIIIa), CD10 and stromelysin-3 (ST-3).


Six of 28 (21.4%) DFSP samples were positive for IGFBP7, whereas 28 of 30 (93.3%) DF samples were positive. CD34 was positive in 26 of 28 (92.9%) cases of DFSP and 4 of 30 (13.3%) cases of DF. FXIIIa staining was positive in 4 of 28 (14.3%) cases of DFSP and 28 of 30 (93.3%) cases of DF. CD10 staining was positive in 12 of 28 (42.9%) cases of DFSP and ST-3 staining was positive in 7 of 28 (25.0%) cases of DFSP. The preferential IGFP7 staining of DFSPs in comparison with DFs was statistically significant (P < 0.01).


We confirmed that IGFBP7 is a negative immunohistochemical marker for DFSPs and the combination with CD34, FXIIIa and ST-3 immunostaining could make the distinction more reliable.

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