Highly differentiated keratinizing squamous cell cancer of the cervix: a rare, locally aggressive tumor not associated with human papillomavirus or squamous intraepithelial lesions.
The purpose of this study is to report an unusual variant of cervical squamous cell carcinoma, not associated with either human papillomavirus infection or antecedent squamous intraepithelial lesions. Five women had a diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer discovered at hysterectomy performed for prolapse (two cases), leiomyoma (one case), or a vaginal fistula (two cases). The women ranged in age from 47 to 78 years (mean 59 years). Four of the five had a history of normal Papanicolaou (Pap) smears; the other had a Pap smear diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS). All had large cervical tumors (two with parametrial involvement and one with vaginal involvement) that showed extensive keratin formation, an inverted pattern of growth, and, except for one case, minimal cytologic atypia. There was extensive hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis adjacent to each tumor; none had evidence of squamous intraepithelial lesion. Human papillomavirus testing by polymerase chain reaction in situ hybridization and reverse-transcribed polymerase chain reaction in situ was negative in each case, compared with a detection rate of 107 of 108 (99%) for squamous intraepithelial lesion-associated cervical squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. Two of the women died of extensive local recurrence; two other women were recently diagnosed. We conclude that highly differentiated keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix is a rare entity not associated with human papillomavirus infection or squamous intraepithelial lesion and thus difficult to detect on routine cervical cancer screening.
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