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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 03


Systemic inflammation caused by an intracranial mesenchymal tumor with a EWSR1::CREM fusion presenting associated with IL-6/STAT3 signaling.


Hojo K, Furuta T, Komaki S, Yoshikane Y, Kikuchi J, Nakamura H, Ide M, Shima S, Hiyoshi Y, Araki J, Tanaka S, Ozono S, Yoshida A, Nobusawa S, Morioka M, Nishikomori R
Neuropathology. 2022 Nov 03.
PMID: 36328767.


Pediatric neoplastic diseases account for about 10% of cases of fever of unknown origin (FUO), and most neoplastic disease cases are leukemia, lymphoma, and neuroblastoma. Brain tumors are rarely reported as the cause of FUO, although craniopharyngioma, metastatic brain tumor, and Castleman's disease have been reported. We report a case of intracranial mesenchymal tumor (IMT) with a FET:CREB fusion gene, which had inflammatory phenotype without neurological signs. A 10-year-old girl was admitted with a 2-month history of intermittent fever and headache, whereas her past history as well as her family history lacked special events. Sepsis work-up showed no pathological organism, and empirical antibiotic therapy was not effective. Bone marrow examination showed a negative result. Cerebrospinal fluid examination showed elevated protein as well as cell counts, and head magnaetic resonance imaging showed a hypervascular mass lesion with contrast enhancement in the left cerebellar hemisphere. The patient underwent tumor excision, which made the intermittent fever disappear. Pathological examinations resembled those of classic angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH), but the morphological features were distinct from the AFH myxoid variant; then we performed break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization and confirmed the tumor harbored the rare EWSR1::CREM fusion gene (Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 gene (EWSR1) and cAMP response element binding (CREB) family gene). Consequently, we diagnosed the condition as IMT with EWSR1::CREM fusion. Elevated serum concentration of interleukin 6 (IL-6) was normalized after tumor resection, which suggested the fever could be caused by tumor-derived IL-6. This is the first case of IMT with EWSR1::CREM fusion that showed paraneoplastic symptoms associated with the IL-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway. Although brain tumors are rarely diagnosed as a responsible disease for FUO, they should be considered as a cause of unknown fever even in the absence of abnormal neurological findings.