Research Mentor Name

Ben Friedman, MD

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Henry Ford Health System, Department of Dermatology

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Immunohistochemical staining can be of great utility in differentiating various cutaneous spindle cell neoplasms, particularly when the histomorphological appearance of the lesions is inconclusive. Nuclear staining for ETS-related gene (ERG), a highly sensitive endothelial cell marker, has seldom been studied in the context of cutaneous spindle cell neoplasms. Little is known about its specificity for vascular differentiation. In this pilot study, immunohistochemical analysis for ERG was performed on fifteen dermatofibromas (DF), ten keloids, and nine dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans tumors (DFSP). Consistent nuclear expression of ERG was found in DF [100% (15/15) of the lesions demonstrated >50% labeling of tumor cells with moderate to strong intensity]. However, ERG expression was largely absent in DFSP [89% (8/9) of the lesions demonstrating <50% labeling staining, generally of mild intensity] and hypertrophic scars-keloids [80% (8/10) without expression]. Based on the results of this pilot study, immunohistochemical staining for ERG may prove useful in helping to differentiate DF from DFSP and hypertrophic scars in the context of partial biopsy sampling. If replicated in a larger number of samples, this finding could mitigate the use of costly sequencing panels and potentially avoid unnecessary re-excisions in certain contexts.


Dermatology | Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences