Researchers discovered the sensitivity and specificity of Tensin2 (TNS2) as a diagnostic immunohistochemical marker for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and published their findings in Cancers. They noted the ability of TSN2 to distinguish between GISTs and other gastric cancers such as lipo- and leiomyosarcomas.

“In this study, we set out to explore the diagnostic value of TNS2 in GIST and its association with clinicopathological parameters such as metastases, mutation status, and tumor location,” they wrote. “Here, we present TNS2 as a novel immunohistochemical diagnostic marker for GISTs, displaying both high sensitivity and superior specificity to GIST among soft tissue sarcomas.”

The research team conducted a retrospective series on 148 GIST tumor samples stored in a biobank in Helsinki, Finland along with the corresponding patient data between 1990 and 2020. They also conducted a sarcoma screening of a series of 548 primary tumor samples collected between 1987 and 2012, also in Helsinki.

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The differential diagnosis of GISTs can be challenging. The authors found that TSN2 expression in GIST was highly overexpressed compared to that found in other tumors while being similar to the expression levels found in healthy tissues.

Other studies have shown TSN2 expression to be downregulated in cancer, thus the possibility of TSN2 being a specific biomarker in GIST became clear. Specifically, the results showed that 89% of gastric GISTs expressed intermediate to high levels of TSN2, and 90% of non-GIST tumors had no TSN2 expression at all.

Furthermore, high expression of TNS2 was associated with fewer metastases and lower risk categorization, in addition to the female sex. These data could be useful in identifying and treating tumors of these types.


Salmikangas S, Böhling T, Merikoski N, et al. Tensin2 is a novel diagnostic marker in gist, associated with gastric location and non-metastatic tumors. Cancers. Published online June 30, 2022. doi:10.3390/cancers14133212