Prognostic Significance of Paneth Cell-like Neuroendocrine Differentiation in Adenocarcinoma of the Prostate

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 09/2006; 30(8):980-5. DOI: 10.1097/00000478-200608000-00008
Source: PubMed


The prognostic significance of Paneth cell-like neuroendocrine differentiation in adenocarcinoma of the prostate has not yet been established. We studied 36 cases of adenocarcinoma of the prostate showing Paneth cell-like neuroendocrine differentiation, including needle biopsy specimens (n = 27), radical prostatectomies (n = 8), and transurethral resection specimens (n = 1). Paneth cell-like neuroendocrine cells (NECs) were observed as either patchy isolated cells or diffusely involving glands or nests. With Gleason pattern 3, a patchy pattern of NECs was seen in 18/19 cases with only 1/19 (5.3%) case showing diffuse NECs. All the 4 Gleason pattern 4 cases had patchy NECs. Of the 21 cases with Gleason pattern 5, 18 (85.7%) had diffuse NECs with the remaining 3 exhibiting patchy NECs. Radical prostatectomy was performed in 16/36 (44.4%). Tumor was organ confined in 10/16 cases (62.5%). Extraprostatic extension (EPE) with positive surgical margins was seen in 6/16 cases (37.5%). In 4 cases, seminal vesicles were positive for cancer. Pelvic lymph nodes were free of tumor in all cases. The actuarial prostate specific antigen progression-free risk at 5 years and 7 years was 92% and 80%, respectively. Only 2 patients progressed after radical prostatectomy and they both had Gleason score 7 cancer with extraprostatic extension and seminal vesicle invasion. Of the 16 radical prostatectomy cases, 8 (50%) had a Gleason pattern 5 component either on needle biopsy or at radical prostatectomy, with nests, cords, or single cells containing Paneth cell-like neuroendocrine differentiation. Five of these 6 cases with Gleason pattern 5 and available follow-up information had no evidence of progression with mean and median follow-ups of 46 months. Radiation therapy either as monotherapy or combined with hormonal therapy was used to treat patients in 13/36 cases. Overall only 2 patients progressed, one with clinical T2 and the other T3 disease. Of the 5 cases with Gleason pattern 5 composed in part or totally by NECs treated by radiation therapy, all are without evidence of recurrence with a mean and median follow-up of 47 and 45 months, respectively. Of the remaining 5 cases with available follow-up treated with watchful waiting, hormone therapy, or cryotherapy, 4 had Gleason pattern 5 tumor with NECs. Of these 4 cases, 3 had no progression with a mean and median follow-up of 42.5 and 60.5 months, respectively. Despite the cells' bland histologic appearance, strictly applying the Gleason grading system one would have to assign a Gleason pattern 5 to these foci with no glandular differentiation. The current study demonstrates that applying the Gleason score to these foci does not accurately reflect their clinical behavior. In cases with Paneth cell-like NECs, only the conventional adenocarcinoma component should be assigned a Gleason score. In cases in which the entire tumor is composed of Paneth cell-like cells and areas of the tumor lack glandular differentiation, the tumors should not be assigned a Gleason score and a comment should be provided as to the generally favorable prognosis of this morphologic pattern of neuroendocrine differentiation.

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    • "For comparison purposes, an unselected cohort of 169 patients with localized PCA who underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) at Weill Cornell Medical Center was used. In addition, two pathology specimens from patients with primary (de novo) mixed small cell carcinoma with prostatic adenocarcinoma were assessed, and six prostatectomy cases of hormone naïve, localized PCA with Paneth cell–like neuroendocrine change were included in the study as separate controls of low-grade neuroendocrine differentiation [13]. A summary of clinical characteristics of patients included in the study is presented in Table 1. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), also referred to as anaplastic prostate cancer, is a lethal tumor that most commonly arises in late stages of prostate adenocarcinoma (PCA) with predilection to metastasize to visceral organs. In the current study, we explore for evidence that Aurora kinase A (AURKA) and N-myc (MYCN) gene abnormalities are harbingers of treatment-related NEPC (t-NEPC). We studied primary prostate tissue from 15 hormone naïve PCAs, 51 castration-resistant prostate cancers, and 15 metastatic tumors from 72 patients at different stages of disease progression to t-NEPC, some with multiple specimens. Histologic evaluation, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescence in situ hybridization were performed and correlated with clinical variables. AURKA amplification was identified in overall 65% of PCAs (hormone naïve and treated) from patients that developed t-NEPC and in 86% of metastases. Concurrent amplification of MYCN was present in 70% of primary PCAs, 69% of treated PCAs, and 83% of metastases. In contrast, in an unselected PCA cohort, AURKA and MYCN amplifications were identified in only 5% of 169 cases. When metastatic t-NEPC was compared to primary PCA from the same patients, there was 100% concordance of ERG rearrangement, 100% concordance of AURKA amplification, and 60% concordance of MYCN amplification. In tumors with mixed features, there was also 100% concordance of ERG rearrangement and 94% concordance of AURKA and MYCN co-amplification between areas of NEPC and adenocarcinoma. AURKA and MYCN amplifications may be prognostic and predictive biomarkers, as they are harbingers of tumors at risk of progressing to t-NEPC after hormonal therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
    • "Many researchers have shown significant correlation between NED, tumor grade and poor prognosis demonstrating increased number of NE cells at advanced tumor stage, in high-grade versus low-grade tumors and, especially, after androgen suppression.[1124] In contrary, other researchers did not find these correlations.[1012] "
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    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to evaluate the prognostic significance of focal chromogranin A (cgA) expression in prostate cancer in a series of cases with autopsy-verified cause of death. Seventy seven autopsy-verified cases of prostate cancer were identified, 41 cases with metastatic disease and 36 with nonmetastatic disease at autopsy. Immunohistochemical analysis for cgA was performed in 40 cases on the archived diagnostic biopsies taken during the patients' lifetime. After exclusion of a single case of carcinoid tumor, 14 of the 18 (78%) metastatic and none of the 21 (0%) nonmetastatic tumors showed focal neuroendocrine differentiation (NED). The Gleason score and focal cgA expression further increased the accuracy of the prediction of the outcome, as all the cases with focal NED associated with high Gleason score had metastatic disease in contrast to cases without cgA-expression and low Gleason score, all of which were non-metastatic. Focal NED seems to be a powerful negative prognostic parameter in prostate adenocarcinomas. The outcome of the disease in prostate cancer can be accurately predicted based on focal NED of the tumor cells either alone or in combination with Gleason score.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Indian Journal of Urology
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