Adult Granulosa Cell Tumor with Sarcomatous Transformation: A Case Study with Emphasis on Molecular Alterations

Wissam Dahoud, Jesse Handler, Vamsi Parimi, Christian F. Meyer, Stephanie L. Wethington, James R. Eshleman, Russell Vang, Brigitte M. Ronnett, Deyin Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adult granulosa cells tumors (AGCTs) are typically low-grade indolent tumors. On rare occasions, they undergo high-grade/sarcomatous transformation and behave aggressively. This transformation is postulated to occur as the result of acquired genetic alterations, some of which may be eligible for targeted therapy. Here we report a rare case of AGCT with sarcomatous transformation that harbored distinct molecular alterations from those typically seen with AGCTs supporting a molecularly driven approach to these malignancies. The patient is a 56-yr-old G3P3 woman with a history of multiple recurrences of ovarian AGCT for which the first diagnosis was made at the age of 25 when she was evaluated for infertility. The ovarian tumor displayed typical features of AGCT with low-grade, bland morphology. The first extraovarian spread of tumor involving the cul-de-sac was reported at the age of 39. After that, recurrences occurred every 2 to 3 yr with involvement of multiple anatomic sites and repeated surgical resections. At the age of 55 she developed a symptomatic recurrence in the pelvis and underwent resection of an isolated lesion (specimen 1) to no gross residual disease. Within 4 wk of resection she developed significant pelvic pain and imaging showed recurrence of the mass. Therefore, in 5 mo after the initial resection she underwent repeat excision of the lesion (specimen 2) and associated bowel. The sections from specimen 1 showed a biphasic morphology: a low-grade component with morphology and immunophenotype consistent with a typical AGCT and a high-grade spindle cell component with features consistent with a high-grade sarcoma. Specimen 2 featured a pure high-grade sarcoma characterized by coagulative tumor cell necrosis, readily recognizable mitoses, highly atypical cells with vesicular nuclei and prominent nucleoli. SF-1 positivity and the presence of FOXL2 C134W mutation in the sarcomatous component support the notion of transformation of typical AGCT. While detected TERT promoter C228T mutation may play a role in this process, we further identified genetic alterations affecting PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, including mutations in PIK3CA, PIK3R1, AKT1, and NF2, which may also contribute to tumor progression/transformation. These findings provide rationale for molecular/pathway-based targeted therapy for patients with advanced AGCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Adult granulosa cell tumor
  • FOXL2
  • NF2
  • PIK3CA
  • Sarcomatous transformation
  • TERT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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