Utility of high molecular weight cytokeratins, but not p63, in the differential diagnosis of neuroendocrine and basaloid carcinomas of the head and neck.
ABSTRACT High-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas of the head and neck overlap significantly in morphology with both basaloid squamous and solid-type adenoid cystic carcinomas. High-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas have sheets of small cells with scant cytoplasm, granular chromatin, and inconspicuous nucleoli. Basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas are aggressive variants of their respective tumor types which both have nests of basaloid tumor cells with round nuclei, little cytoplasm, and inconspicuous nucleoli. As the management and prognosis of these tumors are very different, it is important to differentiate them. We performed high molecular weight cytokeratin (CK) and p63 immunohistochemistry on 19 neuroendocrine carcinomas, 18 basaloid squamous carcinomas, and 11 solid-type adenoid cystic carcinomas. All tumors were immunostained for p63, CK 34betaE12, CK 5/6, synaptophysin, chromogranin-A, S-100, and smooth muscle actin. All basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas were positive for CK 5/6 and 34betaE12. Only 4 and 5 of the 19 neuroendocrine carcinomas, respectively, were positive for these markers. Staining was focal in the neuroendocrine cases when positive, whereas almost all basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas showed strong staining. Almost all tumors of each type were positive for p63, including neuroendocrine carcinomas, but with different staining patterns. Basaloid squamous carcinomas were diffusely positive, neuroendocrine carcinomas were diffusely positive, but with weak staining, and adenoid cystic carcinomas showed a distinct pattern with staining at the periphery of the cell nests only. We conclude that high molecular weight cytokeratin immunostaining is helpful in distinguishing high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas from similar tumor types.
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ABSTRACT: In a long-term retrospective immunohistochemical study of adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of salivary gland, we investigated the relation of p63 immunodetection to prognosis. Although it is generally agreed that the solid pattern is the most aggressive pattern of growth, ACCs with predominantly cribriform or tubular patterns have an unpredictable clinical course, with a relatively favorable 5-year survival but a low 20-year survival. Formalin-fixed paraffin sections from 35 cases of ACC showing a predominantly better differentiated histopathology, ie, cribriform or tubular patterns of growth, were immunostained for p63. Automated image analysis was used to quantify p63 positivity, using a modification of a previously developed algorithm. Patients alive for more than 10 years had a lower extent of p63 expression than those who died of disease. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that separation of patients with morbidity and mortality from those alive with no evidence of disease, could be achieved at a cutoff of 35% p63 positivity (P = .0031, log-rank test). Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model revealed p63 and tumor stage to be independent predictors of survival (P = .012 and P = .0003, respectively). To our knowledge, the present study is the first to report prognostic significance of p63 in salivary gland ACC and the first report of a robust and well-studied immunohistochemical stain performable on routinely fixed and processed tissue with prognostic utility.Cancer 01/2009; 116(1):77-83. DOI:10.1002/cncr.24657 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (BSCC) is a distinctive variant of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) with more aggressive behavior. It occurs preferentially in the upper aerodigestive tract. Sinonasal tract BSCC is uncommon, and only limited studies have been reported in literature. In these studies, most BSCCs arose from the nasal mucosa with or without extension to the paranasal sinuses. Rare reported cases of BSCC involved only the paranasal sinus. In this report, we present a case of a female patient with a sphenoid sinus mass. Clinically, the patient had progressively decreasing vision and headache. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomographic (CT) scan showed an infiltrating tumor mass involving the sphenoid sinus and the sella with compression of the optic nerve. Pathologic examination revealed an invasive basaloid epithelial neoplasm that was arranged in lobules, nests and cords. The tumor also showed palisading of peripheral cells, focal abrupt squamous differentiation and in situ carcinoma in the surface mucosa. In the immunohistochemical studies, this tumor revealed a strongly positive nuclear staining for p63. The morphologic and ancillary studies indicated a BSCC. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of sinonasal tract BSCC that mainly involved the sphenoid bone and sella. In this region, BSCC should be distinguished from benign and malignant neoplasms that more often affect sella and base of skull, such as pituitary adenoma with extensive necrosis, small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (SCNC), olfactory neuroblastoma, malignant germ cell tumor, paranasal adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), and a variety of metastatic malignancies.Head and Neck Pathology 10/2010; 5(1):81-5. DOI:10.1007/s12105-010-0214-2
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ABSTRACT: Although conventional squamous carcinomas can often be recognized with little difficulty by experienced pathologists, it remains a fact that a substantial number of head and neck malignancies are capable of posing real challenges to the diagnostic pathologist. Those head and neck tumors showing the least kinship with normal host tissues—that is, the undifferentiated malignancies—are a particular problem and an approach to dealing with them is traced out below. As a matter of basic light microscopy, these tumors can usually be relegated to 1 of 4 categories: small round cell tumors, spindle cell tumors, large polygonal cell (epithelioid) tumors, and pleomorphic tumors. Once they have been so subclassified, these lesions can then be studied by immunohistochemistry and, when necessary, by molecular methods as well. Immunohistochemistry often permits these tumors to be assigned to a particular tissue type, specifically, epithelial, mesenchymal, lymphoid, or melanocytic. Application of additional immunohistochemical antibodies, in turn, can permit further refinement of this impression (eg, allowing distinction of a neuroendocrine tumor from a carcinoma). In selected instances, molecular techniques (such as in situ hybridization) may be employed both for diagnostic as well as for prognostic purposes. It should be borne in mind, however, that the pathologist's diagnosis will sometimes only be as good as the clinical information provided, which is why the diagnosis of undifferentiated malignancies of the head and neck truly is a multifaceted process, demanding the close cooperation of pathologists, clinicians, and radiologists. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2009Head & Neck 07/2009; 31(7):949 - 961. DOI:10.1002/hed.21080 · 3.01 Impact Factor