DOI: 10.1111/cup.14510 ISSN:

NTRK expression is common in xanthogranuloma and is associated with the solitary variant

B. Umphress, M. Kuhar, R. Kowal, A. K. Alomari, L. A. Baldridge, A. J. Ross, S. J. Warren
  • Dermatology
  • Histology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine



Previously identified mutually‐exclusive driver genes in juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG) and adult xanthogranuloma (AXG) include mutations in MAP kinase pathway genes such as MAP2K1, BRAF, ARAF, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CD as well as fusions in BRAF and ALK, with a subset of cases with no identified driver yet. NTRK fusion has been identified in rare cases.


We identified two consecutive index cases of localized JXG or AXG with NTRK1 fusion by next‐generation sequencing (NGS) and confirmed by pan‐NTRK immunostain. We expanded the study to a total of 50 cases of JXG and AXG using screening by pan‐NTRK immunostain. We confirmed the specificity of our approach with negative results in 5 cases of histiocytic neoplasia lacking an NTRK fusion by NGS and 14 cases of non‐neoplastic histiocytic disease.


We found 23 cases of JXG or AXG with overexpression of NTRK by immunostain, and these cases were restricted to localized disease (23 of 43 cases, 53.5%) rather than disseminated disease (zero of seven cases).


NTRK expression is common in JXG or AXG and associated with localized rather than disseminated disease. We speculate that the potential importance of this in JXG and AXG has not been previously appreciated due to the tendency to focus sequencing studies on disseminated disease. We confirm the presence of an NTRK1 fusion in two positive cases by NGS, however, additional genetic studies are necessary to further explore this.

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