For a growing number of tumors the BRAF V600E mutation carries therapeutic relevance. In histiocytic proliferations the distribution of BRAF mutations and their relevance has not been clarified. Here we present a retrospective genotyping study and a prospective observational study of a patient treated with a BRAF inhibitor. Genotyping of 69 histiocytic lesions revealed that 23/48 Langerhans cell lesions were BRAF-V600E-mutant whereas all non-Langerhans cell lesions (including dendritic cell sarcoma, juvenile xanthogranuloma, Rosai-Dorfman disease, and granular cell tumor) were wild-type. A metareview of 29 publications showed an overall mutation frequency of 48.5%; and with N=653 samples, this frequency is well defined. The BRAF mutation status cannot be predicted based on clinical parameters and outcome analysis showed no difference. Genotyping identified a 45 year-old woman with an aggressive and treatment-refractory, ultrastructurally confirmed systemic BRAF-mutant LCH. Prior treatments included glucocorticoid/vinblastine and cladribine-monotherapy. Treatment with vemurafenib over 3 months resulted in a dramatic metabolic response by FDG-PET and stable radiographic disease; the patient experienced progression after 6 months. In conclusion, BRAF mutations in histiocytic proliferations are restricted to lesions of the Langerhans-cell type. While for most LCH-patients efficient therapies are available, patients with BRAF mutations may benefit from the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib.
Bubolz, A. M., Weissinger, S. E., Stenzinger, A., Arndt, A., Steinestel, K., Brüderlein, S., … Lennerz, J. K. (2014). Potential clinical implications of BRAF mutations in histiocytic proliferations. Oncotarget, 5(12), 4060–4070. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2061