ERG expression in multiple myeloma—A potential diagnostic pitfall

Juliana Knief*, Katharina Reddemann, Jan Gliemroth, Swantje Brede, Tobias Bartscht, Christoph Thorns

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction ERG expression has been described as a frequent event in prostate cancer indicating poor prognosis and promoting oncogenesis. It has also been demonstrated in Ewing's sarcoma, acute myeloid leukemia and acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia but could not be found in other epithelial tumors, Hodgkin's or Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We aimed to analyze ERG expression in multiple myeloma, following an index case of a patient with metastases of unknown origin in the spine strongly expressing ERG, which were thought to be of prostatic origin but turned out to be plasmacytic lesions. Material and methods We subsequently selected 12 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples of multiple myeloma from our archives and performed immunohistochemical staining for ERG. Results All 12 analyzed cases showed strong nuclear expression of ERG in >90% of tumor cells (myeloma cells). Conclusions This report highlights a potential and critical diagnostic pitfall in biopsy specimens where morphology is only of limited assistance in reaching the correct diagnosis. It urges pathologists to exercise caution in cases where strong ERG-positivity implicates the presence of a prostatic neoplasia and illustrates the need for further immunohistochemical examination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)130-132
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2017


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