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1.  Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 mutations (IDH1) and p16/CDKN2A copy number change in conventional chondrosarcomas 
Virchows Archiv  2014;466(2):217-222.
To determine whether IDH1 mutations are present in primary and relapsed (local and distal) conventional central chondrosarcomas; and secondly, to assess if loss of p16/CDKN2A is associated with tumour grade progression, 102 tumour samples from 37 patients, including material from presenting and relapse events, were assessed. All wild-type cases for IDH1 R132 substitutions were also tested for IDH2 R172 and R140 alterations. The primary tumour and the most recent relapse sample were tested for p16/CDKN2A by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridisation. An additional 120 central cartilaginous tumours from different patients were also tested for p16/CDKN2A copy number. The study shows that if an IDH1 mutation were detected in a primary central chondrosarcoma, it is always detected at the time of presentation, and the same mutation is detected in local recurrences and metastatic events. We show that p16/CDKN2A copy number variation occurs subsequent to the IDH1 mutation, and confirm that p16/CDKN2A copy number variation occurs in 75 % of high grade central chondrosarcomas, and not in low grade cartilaginous tumours. Finally, p16/CDKN2A copy number variation is seen in both the IDH1 wild-type and mutant cartilaginous central tumours.
PMCID: PMC4325180  PMID: 25432631
Chondrosarcomas; IDH1; p16/CDKN2A; Sarcoma
2.  CEACAM6 as detected by the AP11 antibody is a marker notable for mucin-producing adenocarcinomas 
Virchows Archiv  2014;466(2):151-159.
A new monoclonal antibody recognizing CEACAM6, which we named AP11, was generated by immunizing BALB/c mice with phytohemagglutinin-activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This study aims to evaluate whether CEACAM6 can serve as a tumor marker using AP11. We examined the expression of CEACAM6 with AP11 in 11 human carcinoma cell lines by flow cytometry and 439 human tissues including 282 tumor tissues and 157 normal tissues by immunohistochemistry. CEACAM6 epitope recognized by AP11 was well preserved in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues. Adenocarcinomas of the stomach (86 %), colorectum (95 %), pancreas (100 %), and lung (83 %), urinary bladder (100 %), and mucinous ovarian tumors (88 %) had a high rate of CEACAM6 immunoreactivity. We observed a variable expression of CEACAM6 in hepatocellular carcinomas (35 %), squamous cell carcinomas of the lung (60 %), renal cell carcinomas (14 %), urothelial carcinomas (13 %), serous carcinomas of the ovary (17 %), and breast carcinomas (11 %). Small-cell carcinomas of the lung, prostatic adenocarcinomas, papillary thyroid carcinomas, malignant melanomas, giant cell tumors, and osteosarcomas were negative for CEACAM6. All normal tissues of various organs were negative for CEACAM6. In conclusion, CEACAM6 as detected by AP11, may serve as a marker for mucin-producing adenocarcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract and ovary as well as non-small cell lung cancer. Thus, AP11 represents a valuable diagnostic tool for detecting CEACMA6-positive cancers.
PMCID: PMC4325187  PMID: 25427744
CEACMA6; AP11; Monoclonal antibody; Tumor marker
3.  SATB1 is an independent prognostic factor in radically resected upper gastrointestinal tract adenocarcinoma 
Virchows Archiv  2014;465(6):649-659.
Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma is rising. While some progress has been made in treatment strategies, overall survival remains very poor for patients with adenocarcinoma in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is a global genome organizer that has been demonstrated to promote aggressive tumor behavior in several different types of cancer, including gastric cancer. The prognostic value of SATB1 expression in esophageal cancer has, however, not yet been described. In this study, expression of SATB1 was examined by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays prepared from tissue samples from 175 patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, cardia, or stomach and containing normal tissue, intestinal metaplasia, primary tumors, and metastases. A well-validated antibody was used. We found SATB1 to be an independent prognostic factor in patients with a radically resected tumor, correlating with shorter overall survival as well as with shorter recurrence-free survival. SATB1 expression was also found to be significantly lower in primary tumors associated with intestinal metaplasia than those without intestinal metaplasia. This observation is of potential biological interest as it has been proposed that intestinal metaplasia-associated tumors constitute a less aggressive phenotype.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-014-1667-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4245492  PMID: 25326863
SATB1; SATB2; Gastric adenocarcinoma; Esophageal adenocarcinoma; Prognosis
4.  Preanalytical variables and performance of diagnostic RNA-based gene expression analysis in breast cancer 
Virchows Archiv  2014;465(4):409-417.
Prognostic multigene expression assays have become widely available to provide additional information to standard clinical parameters and to support clinicians in treatment decisions. In this study, we analyzed the impact of variations in tissue handling on the diagnostic EndoPredict test results. EndoPredict is a quantitative reverse transcription PCR assay conducted on RNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue that predicts the likelihood of distant recurrence in patients with ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. In this study, we performed a total of 138 EndoPredict assays to study the effects of preanalytical variables such as time to fixation, fixation time, tumor cell content, and section storage time on the EndoPredict test results. A time to fixation of up to 12 h and fixation of up to 5 days did not affect the results of the gene expression test. Paired samples of FFPE sections with tumor cell content ranging from 15 to 95 % and tumor-enriched samples showed a correlation coefficient of 0.97. Test results of tissue sections that have been stored for 12 months at +4 or +20 °C showed a correlation of 0.99 when compared to results of nonstored sections. In conclusion, preanalytical tissue handling is not a critical factor for diagnostic gene expression analysis with the EndoPredict assay. The test can therefore be easily integrated into the standard workflow of molecular pathology.
PMCID: PMC4180906  PMID: 25218890
Breast cancer; Preanalytical; EndoPredict; Molecular pathology; Gene expression
5.  Changes of placental syndecan-1 expression in preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome 
Preeclampsia is characterized by maternal systemic anti-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory states. Syndecan-1 is a cell surface proteoglycan expressed by the syncytiotrophoblast, which plays an important role in angiogenesis and resolution of inflammation. Our aim was to examine placental syndecan-1 expression in preeclampsia with or without HELLP syndrome.
Placentas were obtained from women in the following groups: (1) late-onset preeclampsia (n=8); (2) early-onset preeclampsia without (n=7) and (3) with HELLP syndrome (n=8); (4) preterm controls (n=5); and (5) term controls (n=9). Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed from paraffin-embedded placentas. TMA slides were immunostained for syndecan-1 and evaluated using microscopy, virtual microscopy, and semi-automated image analysis. Maternal sera from patients with preeclampsia (n=49) and controls (n=32) were immunoassayed for syndecan-1. BeWo cells were treated with Forskolin or Latrunculin-B, or kept in ischemic conditions. SDC1 expression and syndecan-1 production were investigated with qRT-PCR, confocal microscopy, and immunoassays.
Syndecan-1 was localized to the syncytiotrophoblast apical membrane in normal placentas. Syndecan-1 immunoscores were higher in late-onset preeclampsia (p=0.0001) and early-onset preeclampsia with or without HELLP syndrome (p=0.02 for both) than in controls. Maternal serum syndecan-1 concentration was lower in preeclampsia (median: 673ng/ml, interquartile range: 459-1161ng/ml) than in controls (1158ng/ml, 622-1480ng/ml). SDC1 expression and syndecan-1 immunostainings in BeWo cells and syndecan-1 concentrations in supernatants increased during cell differentiation. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton with Latrunculin-B decreased syndecan-1 release, while ischemic conditions increased it.
Syncytiotrophoblastic syndecan-1 expression depends on the differentiation of villous trophoblasts, and trophoblastic syndecan-1 release is decreased in preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. This phenomenon may be related to the disturbed syncytiotrophoblastic cortical actin cytoskeleton, and associated with maternal anti-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory states in these syndromes.
PMCID: PMC3939785  PMID: 23807541
cell signaling; pregnancy; proteoglycan; syncytiotrophoblast; systemic inflammation; virtual microscopy
6.  Neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1) activates cancer-related pathways and is widely expressed in neuroendocrine tumors 
Virchows Archiv  2014;465(2):173-183.
Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) arise from disseminated neuroendocrine cells and express general and specific neuroendocrine markers. Neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1) is expressed in neuroendocrine cells and its ligand neuropeptide S (NPS) affects cell proliferation. Our aim was to study whether NPS/NPSR1 could be used as a biomarker for neuroendocrine neoplasms and to identify the gene pathways affected by NPS/NPSR1. We collected a cohort of NETs comprised of 91 samples from endocrine glands, digestive tract, skin, and lung. Tumor type was validated by immunostaining of chromogranin-A and synaptophysin expression and tumor grade was analyzed by Ki-67 proliferation index. NPS and NPSR1 expression was quantified by immunohistochemistry using polyclonal antibodies against NPS and monoclonal antibodies against the amino-terminus and carboxy-terminus of NPSR1 isoform A (NPSR1-A). The effects of NPS on downstream signaling were studied in a human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line which overexpresses NPSR1-A and is of neuroendocrine origin. NPSR1 and NPS were expressed in most NET tissues, with the exception of adrenal pheochromocytomas in which NPS/NPSR1 immunoreactivity was very low. Transcriptome analysis of NPSR1-A overexpressing cells revealed that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, circadian activity, focal adhesion, transforming growth factor beta, and cytokine–cytokine interactions were the most altered gene pathways after NPS stimulation. Our results show that NETs are a source of NPS and NPSR1, and that NPS affects cancer-related pathways.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-014-1602-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4116602  PMID: 24915894
Neuropeptide S; Neuroendocrine tumor; Neuroendocrine marker; Immunohistochemistry
7.  Risk factor analysis for bone marrow histiocytic hyperplasia with hemophagocytosis: an autopsy study 
Virchows Archiv  2014;465(1):109-118.
The excessive release of inflammatory cytokines occasionally induces life-threatening hemophagocytosis referred to as hemophagocytic syndrome (HPS). A similar condition, histiocytic hyperplasia with hemophagocytosis (HHH), is often seen in bone marrow collected during autopsy. Unlike HPS, the pathogenesis of HHH remains unclear. Therefore, we performed a clinicopathological analysis of HHH from 70 autopsy cases at the University of Fukui Hospital. HHH was detected in 29 of 70 autopsies (41.4 %) and was significantly complicated with hematological diseases (p < 0.05) and sepsis (p < 0.05). The percentage of macrophages in bone marrow (BM) nucleated cells was significantly increased in HHH (p < 0.001). Data from medical records indicated no significant changes, except for the minimum values of white blood cell counts (p < 0.05) and platelet counts (p < 0.05) in HHH patients as compared with non-HHH patients. Concentrations of inflammatory mediators including IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 were significantly increased in HHH patients. Multivariate risk factor analysis identified hematological diseases (odds ratio (OR), 11.71), ≥15 % BM macrophages (OR, 9.42), sepsis (OR, 7.77), and high serum IL-6 levels (OR, 1.00) as independent risk factors for HHH. HHH with hypocellular BM, the most aggressive form of HHH, was recognized in 8 of 29 HHH patients and was associated with ≥25 % BM macrophages (p < 0.001), leukocytopenia (p < 0.05), and high IL-8 levels (p < 0.05). None of the HHH patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of HPS. These findings suggest that HHH is a different entity from HPS and that it preferentially develops under conditions of excessive inflammation and its associated risks, such as hematological diseases and sepsis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-014-1592-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4077255  PMID: 24852692
Bone marrow; Hematological diseases; Histiocytic hyperplasia with hemophagocytosis; Inflammation; Inflammatory cytokine; Sepsis
8.  Measurements of cancer extent in a conservatively treated prostate cancer biopsy cohort 
Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology  2010;457(5):10.1007/s00428-010-0971-z.
The optimal method for measuring cancer extent in prostate biopsy specimens is unknown. Seven hundred forty-four patients diagnosed between 1990 and 1996 with prostate cancer and managed conservatively were identified. The clinical end point was death from prostate cancer. The extent of cancer was measured in terms of number of cancer cores (NCC), percentage of cores with cancer (PCC), total length of cancer (LCC) and percentage length of cancer in the cores (PLC). These were correlated with prostate cancer mortality, in univariate and multivariate analysis including Gleason score and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). All extent of cancer variables were significant predictors of prostate cancer death on univariate analysis: NCC, hazard ration (HR)=1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04–1.28, P=0.011; PPC, HR=1.01, 95% CI=1.01–1.02, P<0.0001; LCC, HR=1.02, 95% CI=1.01–1.03, P=0.002; PLC, HR=1.01, 95% CI=1.01–1.02, P=0.0001. In multivariate analysis including Gleason score and baseline PSA, PCC and PLC were both independently significant P=0.004 and P=0.012, respectively, and added further information to that provided by PSA and Gleason score, whereas NNC and LCC were no longer significant (P=0.5 and P=0.3 respectively). In a final model, including both extent of cancer variables, PCC was the stronger, adding more value than PLC (χ2 (1df)=7.8, P=0.005, χ2 (1df)=0.5, P=0.48 respectively). Measurements of disease burden in needle biopsy specimens are significant predictors of prostate-cancer-related death. The percentage of positive cores appeared the strongest predictor and was stronger than percentage length of cancer in the cores.
PMCID: PMC3853376  PMID: 20827488
Prostate biopsy; Prostate cancer; Biopsy; prognostic factors; Tumour extent
9.  CD105 is a more appropriate marker for evaluating angiogenesis in urothelial cancer of the upper urinary tract than CD31 or CD34 
Virchows Archiv  2013;463(5):673-679.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in cancer progression in many types of cancer. Evaluation of angiogenesis is often performed, but the optimal methodology for human cancer has not been agreed upon. As adequate evaluation of angiogenesis in cancer tissues might be important for prediction of prognosis and treatment decisions, we evaluated angiogenesis semiquantitatively by assessing microvessel density (MVD) in urothelial cancer of the upper urinary tract (UC-UUT). We compared the performance of three endothelial cell markers (CD31, CD34, and CD105) on formalin-fixed tissues from 122 patients diagnosed with UC-UUT without metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A expression was also evaluated immunohistochemically. Correlations between MVD with each marker and pT stage, grade, survival, and VEGF-A expression were investigated. Mean (standard deviation) MVD as estimated by immunohistochemical staining with anti-CD31, anti-CD34, and anti-CD105 were 47.1 (17.9)/high-power field (HPF), 70.9 (19.5)/HPF, and 31.2 (16.7)/HPF, respectively. Although all MVDs were significantly associated with pT stage and grade, CD105-MVD showed the strongest association. Similarly, CD105-MVD showed the strongest correlation with VEGF-A expression (r = 0.530, p < 0.001). Although all MVDs were associated with metastasis-free survival and cause-specific survival on univariate analysis, only CD105-MVD was retained as an independent predictor in multivariate analysis including pT stage and grade. CD105-MVD may be the preferred marker for semiquantitative assessment of angiogenesis in patients with UC-UUT.
PMCID: PMC3825622  PMID: 23975255
Angiogenesis; CD105; CD31; CD34; Urothelial cancer of the upper urinary tract
10.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3644192  PMID: 23536281
11.  Increased detection rates of EGFR and KRAS mutations in NSCLC specimens with low tumour cell content by 454 deep sequencing 
Virchows Archiv  2013;462(4):409-419.
Detection of activating EGFR mutations in NSCLC is the prerequisite for individualised therapy with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). In contrast, mutant downstream effector KRAS is associated with TKI resistance. Accordingly, EGFR mutation status is routinely examined in NSCLC specimens, but the employed methods may have a dramatic impact on the interpretation of results and, consequently, therapeutic decisions. Specimens with low tumour cell content are at particular risk for false-negative EGFR mutation reporting by sequencing with Sanger chemistry. To improve reliability of detecting clinically relevant mutant variants of EGFR and KRAS, we took full advantage of 454 deep sequencing and developed a two-step amplification protocol for the analysis of EGFR exons 18–21 and KRAS exons 2 and 3. We systematically addressed the sensitivity, reproducibility and specificity of the developed assay. Mutations could be reliably identified down to an allele frequency of 0.2–1.5 %, as opposed to 10–20 % detection limit of Sanger sequencing. High reproducibility (0–2.1 % variant frequency) and very low background level (0.4–0.8 % frequency) further complement the reliability of this assay. Notably, re-evaluation of 16 NSCLC samples with low tumour cell content ≤40 % and EGFR wild type status according to Sanger sequencing revealed clinically relevant EGFR mutations at allele frequencies of 0.9–10 % in seven cases. In summary, this novel two-step amplification protocol with 454 deep sequencing is superior to Sanger sequencing with significantly increased sensitivity, enabling reliable analysis of EGFR and KRAS in NSCLC samples independent of the tumour cell content.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-013-1376-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3624006  PMID: 23468066
NSCLC; EGFR; KRAS; 454 Deep sequencing; Sensitivity
12.  Sample parameters affecting the clinical relevance of RNA biomarkers in translational breast cancer research 
Virchows Archiv  2012;462(2):141-154.
In the frame of translational breast cancer research, eligibility criteria for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPE) material processing for gene expression studies include tumor cell content (TCC) and sample site (primary vs metastatic tumors). Herein we asked whether the observed differences in gene expression between paired samples with respect to TCC and sample site also have different clinical significance. We assessed ESR1, ERBB2, MAPT, MMP7, and RACGAP1 mRNA expression with real time PCR in paired samples before (NMD) and after macrodissection (MD) from 98 primary tumors (PMD, PNMD) and 72 metastatic lymph nodes (LNMD, LNNMD), as well as from 93 matched P (mP) and LN (mLN). TCC range was 2.5–75 % in the NMD series and 28–98 % in the MD and in the mP/mLN series. The prognostic effect of these markers, individually or in clusters, remained stable between paired PMD/NMD. In comparison, cluster classification failed in the LNNMD group with lower TCC. In the mP/mLN cohort, RACGAP1 mRNA expression was of prognostic significance when tested in mLN samples (p < 0.001). Similarly, luminal B, HER2, and triple negative tumors were of dismal prognosis when classified in the LN component of the same series (mLN, overall survival: p = 0.013, p = 0.034, and p = 0.007, respectively). In conclusion, the clinical relevance of the RNA markers examined may be affected by TCC in metastatic LN samples but not in primary tumors, while it differs between primary tumors and matched metastases. These data will facilitate the design of translational studies involving FFPE sample series.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1357-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3568476  PMID: 23262785
Macrodissection; Tumor cell content; Gene expression; FFPE; Primary tumor; Metastatic lymph node; Breast cancer; Translational study
13.  Absence of TCL1A expression is a useful diagnostic feature in splenic marginal zone lymphoma 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(6):677-685.
Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) is a low-grade lymphoma showing a rather nonspecific immunophenotype. Gene expression profiling studies suggested that TCL1A could be a marker of SMZL, but reported data are conflicting. We evaluated TCL1A expression in a series of spleen and bone marrow samples involved by SMZL and correlated the findings with other immunophenotypical, morphological, and clinical data. In addition, we evaluated the expression of TCL1A in a series of spleens and lymph nodes involved by lymphomas that might mimic SMZL (13 nodal marginal zone lymphomas (NMZL), 39 follicular lymphomas (FL), 30 B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL), 31 mantle cell lymphomas (MCL), 1 lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) and 15 bone marrow specimens involving hairy cell leukemia (HCL). TCL1A staining was negative in 24/31 cases of SMZL (77 %); 27/31 MCL and all B-CLL were positive for TCL1A; 32/34 cases of nodal FL (96 %) and all five splenic FL were positive for TCL1A, although at a lower intensity. Eight of 13 NMZL were positive for TCL1A, often showing a heterogeneous staining pattern. All HCL samples were strongly positive for TCL1A. No correlation was found between the pattern of splenic infiltration, TCL1A expression, and the clinical course. TCL1A-positive SMZL showed a higher rate of DBA44 staining compared to the negative ones, and this difference was statistically significant (Fisher test, single-tailed, p = 0.0397). Our data support the use of TCL1A in the panel of diagnostic markers used in the differential diagnosis of splenic low-grade B-cell lymphoma; a possible prognostic value, however, needs a larger series to be established.
PMCID: PMC3506200  PMID: 23064660
Splenic marginal zone lymphoma; TCL1A; Immunohistochemistry; Differential diagnosis
14.  Tumor architecture exerts no bias on nuclear grading in breast cancer diagnosis 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(4):399-403.
We recently reported that nuclear grading in prostate cancer is subject to a strong confirmation bias induced by the tumor architecture. We now wondered whether a similar bias governs nuclear grading in breast carcinoma. An unannounced test was performed at a pathology conference. Pathologists were asked to grade nuclei in a PowerPoint presentation. Circular high power fields of 27 invasive ductal carcinomas were shown, superimposed over low power background images of either tubule-rich or tubule-poor carcinomas. We found (a) that diagnostic reproducibility of nuclear grades was poor to moderate (weighed kappa values between 0.07 and 0.54, 27 cases, 44 graders), but (b) that nuclear grades were not affected by the tumor architecture. We speculate that the categorized grading in breast cancer, separating tubule formation, nuclear pleomorphism, and mitotic figure counts in a combined three tier score, prevents the bias that architecture exerts on nuclear grades in less well-controlled situations.
PMCID: PMC3461209  PMID: 22936350
Confirmation bias; Cancer grading; Nuclear pleomorphism; Architecture; Cognitive psychology
15.  DNA ploidy may be a prognostic marker in stage I and II serous adenocarcinoma of the endometrium 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(3):291-298.
In patients with serous adenocarcinoma (SAC) of the endometrium, we evaluated the prognostic importance of clinicopathological parameters, DNA ploidy, and immunoexpression of p53, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and Ki-67. In a series of 73 stage I and II SAC, DNA ploidy analysis was performed on hysterectomy specimens using DNA image cytometry. Immunohistochemical analysis of p53, ER, PR, and Ki-67 expression was additionally performed. In the review of the histological slides by three gynecologic pathologists, the presence of a serous component was not agreed upon in 17 (23 %) cases. The remaining 56 cases, consisting of pure SAC or SAC mixed with endometrioid adenocarcinoma, were further analyzed. Tumor recurrence was observed in 14 patients, and 28 patients died during the follow-up period. Patients with diploid (n = 19), aneuploid (n = 29), and tetraploid (n = 8) tumor had 5-year recurrence rates of 10, 38, and 53 %, respectively (p = 0.09). A DNA ploidy parameter, 5c exceeding rate, was found to be a prognostic marker for recurrence (p = 0.03), progression-free survival (p < 0.01), and overall survival (p = 0.02). Immunoexpression of p53, ER, PR, and Ki-67 did not have prognostic value, and the same was true for FIGO stage, lymphovascular invasion, the extent of myometrial invasion, and lymphadenectomy. The histological diagnosis of SAC may be difficult in some cases. Established clinicopathological parameters do not seem to be strong prognosticators in stage I and II disease. A DNA ploidy parameter, 5c exceeding rate, may be a prognostic marker in this patient group and should be further validated in larger series.
PMCID: PMC3432201  PMID: 22824999
Serous adenocarcinoma; Endometrial carcinoma; DNA ploidy; p53; Estrogen receptor; Progesterone receptor
16.  EML4-ALK testing in non-small cell carcinomas of the lung: a review with recommendations 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(3):245-257.
In non-small cell lung cancer, epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements have a major impact upon the level of response to treatment with specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This review describes the molecular basis of ALK inhibition, summarizes current data on the effectiveness and safety of ALK inhibition therapy, describes the different testing methodologies with their advantages and disadvantages, provides a suggested testing algorithm and puts forward a proposal for an external quality assessment program in ALK testing.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1281-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3432214  PMID: 22825000
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase; Rearrangement; Crizotinib; Algorithm; Guidelines; Non-small cell lung cancer
17.  Systematic comparison of tissue fixation with alternative fixatives to conventional tissue fixation with buffered formalin in a xenograft-based model 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(3):259-269.
In our study we systematically compared the alternative fixatives acidified formal alcohol (AFA), PAXgene®, HOPE®, and combinations of AFA or formalin with ultrasound treatment to standard (buffered) formalin fixation. We examined general morphology and detectability of protein structures by immunohistochemistry of the membrane receptors epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), and phosphorylated human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (phospho-HER2). In order to allow for stringent comparability of different fixation techniques, we used matched mouse xenograft tumor samples from three different human cancer cell lines (colon, ovarian, and non-small cell lung cancer), either fixed conventionally with formalin or an alternative fixative. Tissue morphology after fixation with AFA and PAXgene® was comparable to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET) morphology. Ultrasound fixations resulted in slightly inferior morphology and HOPE® fixation preserved morphology only poorly compared to FFPET in this system. None of the tested alternative fixatives enabled immunohistochemical detectability of all three targets in the same manner as FFPET. Pronounced staining was possible for EGFR and IGF-1R with all alternative fixatives but HOPE®, and phospho-HER2 staining was only noteworthy with formalin-ultrasound-fixed tissue. Therefore, the use of alternative fixatives comes with the need for careful validation of obtained IHC results individually for each target.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1248-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3432218  PMID: 22814649
Formalin fixation; Immunohistochemistry; AFA; HOPE®; PAXgene®; Ultrasound
18.  Alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase expression in neuroendocrine neoplasms of the stomach 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(2):169-175.
The enzyme alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase plays an important role in the beta-oxidation of branched-chain fatty acid and its derivatives. It has been used to detect prostatic adenocarcinoma and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, and recently also as a marker for other neoplasms, including those of the genitourinary system, breast, upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and their precursor lesions. We assessed expression of alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase by immunohistochemistry in neuroendocrine tumours of the stomach to determine differences in the incidence and pattern of expression among different types of gastric neuroendocrine tumours. While none of the grade 1 neuroendocrine tumours were immunoreactive, 67 % of grade 2 neuroendocrine tumours and 90 % of neuroendocrine carcinomas were positive for alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase. Furthermore, an adenocarcinoma component was found in 72.5 % (37 of 51) of neuroendocrine carcinomas, whereas none of the grade 1 and 2 neuroendocrine tumours contained an adenocarcinoma component. In 83 % of neuroendocrine carcinomas, the adenocarcinoma component was positive for alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase, and both adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma components stained positively in 78 % of these cases. Our results indicate that alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase is a useful marker for distinguishing between grade 1 (negative) and grade 2 neuroendocrine tumours, and neuroendocrine carcinoma of the stomach (frequently positive). Different patterns of alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase expression between gastric neuroendocrine tumours and neuroendocrine carcinoma suggest that these might develop via different tumourigenic pathways.
PMCID: PMC3421105  PMID: 22782380
Alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase; Stomach; Neuroendocrine tumour; Neuroendocrine carcinoma
19.  Down-staging ( 
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(2):149-156.
Urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) with musculus detrusor (MD) invasion is treated by cystectomy. Subsequent pathologic evaluation of cystectomies does not reveal MD invasion (
PMCID: PMC3421107  PMID: 22777576
Cystectomy; Urothelial cell carcinoma; Down-staging; pT0
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(1):1-2.
PMCID: PMC3400751  PMID: 22772769
Virchows Archiv  2012;461(1):3-11.
PMCID: PMC3400763  PMID: 22661128
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(6):651-658.
For tularemia, a zoonosis caused by the gram-negative coccobacillus Francisella tularensis, research of the relation between skin lesions and lymph node lesions has not been reported in the literature. This report describes skin lesions and lymph node lesions and their mutual relation over time for tularemia in Japan. Around the second day after infection (DAI), a subcutaneous abscess was observed (abscess form). Hand and finger skin ulcers formed during the second to the fourth week. Subcutaneous and dermal granulomas were observed with adjacent monocytoid B lymphocytes (MBLs) (abscess–granulomatous form). From the sixth week, large granulomas with central homogeneous lesions emerged diffusely (granulomatous form). On 2–14 DAI, F. tularensis antigen in skin lesions was detected in abscesses. During 7–12 DAI, abscesses with adjacent MBLs appeared without epithelioid granuloma (abscess form) in regional lymph nodes. During the second to fifth week, granulomas appeared with necrosis (abscess–granulomatous form). After the sixth week, large granulomas with a central homogeneous lesion (granulomatous form) appeared. F. tularensis antigen in lymph node lesions was observed in the abscess on 7–92 DAI. Apparently, F. tularensis penetrates the finger skin immediately after contact with infected hares. Subsequently, the primary lesion gradually transfers from skin to regional lymph nodes. The regional lymph node lesions induced by skin lesion are designated as dermatopathic lymphadenopathy. This study revealed temporal differences of onset among the skin and lymph node lesions.
PMCID: PMC3371331  PMID: 22588497
Tularemia; Primary skin lesions; Regional lymph node lesions; Temporal differences of onset
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(6):621-628.
Myoepithelial carcinoma of soft tissue (MEC) and cellular extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (cEMC) share striking similarities. In this paper, we compare ten MECs with five cEMCs. MEC patients had an equal gender distribution. The age range was 15–76 years (mean, 42 years). Tumours were located on extremities, pelvic girdle, vulva and neck. Follow-up, available for nine patients, ranged from 4 to 85 months (mean, 35 months). Five patients were alive without evidence of disease, two were alive with disease and two died 8 months after the initial diagnosis. cEMCs were from three males and two females with an age range of 37–82 years (mean, 57 years); they presented in extremities, shoulder and paravertebral/cervical. Follow-up, available for four patients, ranged from 6 to 220 months (mean, 61 months). All patients were alive, two with recurrences and/or metastases and two without evidence of disease. Morphologically, the distinction between these two entities was difficult since all cases exhibited features typically seen in myoepithelial tumours. Immunohistochemically, MECs expressed pan-keratin (80 %), epithelial membrane antigen (EMA; 57 %), S100 (50 %), alpha-smooth muscle actin (ASMA; 75 %), calponin (67 %) and p63 (25 %). S100 and EMA were expressed in 40 % of cEMC cases respectively with additional immunoreactivity for p63, ASMA and glial fibrillary acidic protein in one case. Pan-keratin was negative in all neoplasms. NR4A3 rearrangement was present in four of four cEMCs and in none of the MECs. In contrast, three of nine (33 %) MECs and four of five (80 %) cEMCs showed an EWSR1 rearrangement. In summary, MECs and cEMCs share clinical, morphological, immunohistochemical and genetic characteristics. The pathognomic rearrangement of NR4A3 is a useful diagnostic feature in identifying cEMCs.
PMCID: PMC3371325  PMID: 22569967
Myoepithelial carcinoma of soft tissue; Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma; Soft tissue tumours; EWSR1 rearrangement; NR4A3 rearrangement
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(6):569-575.
Analysis of sentinel lymph node (SLN) by means of One-Step Nucleic Acid Amplification (OSNA) is being used increasingly as a very sensitive and quick method for intraoperative axillary staging in patients with breast cancer. This molecular diagnostic assay detects the expression level of cytokeratin 19 (CK19), a luminal epithelial cell marker broadly expressed in most breast carcinomas and not normally found in lymph nodes. Almost all breast cancers express this cytoskeleton protein, but some breast tumors have been found to lose the expression of CK19. CK19 immunostaining in core biopsies has been recommended in selecting patients eligible for OSNA analysis because SLNs with metastatic involvement by CK19-negative breast cancers may result in a false negative result by OSNA. However, the real frequency of CK19-negative breast cancer has to be elucidated. In this study, we have assessed the frequency and molecular profile of CK19-negative breast carcinomas in three series of cases. The first is a prospective series of 197 breast carcinomas, 111 of which were subjected to SLN evaluation by OSNA. The second is a retrospective series of 41 triple-negative (TN) breast carcinomas, and the third is a retrospective series of 68 breast cancer patients (matched core biopsies and metastatic lymph nodes) that had been evaluated by conventional procedures before the OSNA methodology was adopted in our institution. Our results not only demonstrate that lack of expression of CK19 is infrequent in breast cancers but also that performing CK19 immunohistochemical staining is important on diagnostic core biopsies in taking the decision of using OSNA methodology in the evaluation of sentinel nodes in breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC3371326  PMID: 22555942
Breast carcinoma; OSNA; CK19; Luminal; “Basal-like”
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(6):629-636.
Vestibular schwannomas show a large variation in growth rate, making prediction and anticipation of tumor growth difficult. More accurate prediction of clinical behavior requires better understanding of tumor biological factors influencing tumor progression. Biological processes like intratumoral hemorrhage, cell proliferation, microvessel density, and inflammation were analyzed in order to determine their role in vestibular schwannoma development. Tumor specimens of 67 patients surgically treated for a histologically proven unilateral vestibular schwannoma were studied. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were used to determine tumor size and to classify tumors as homogeneous, inhomogeneous, and cystic. Immunohistochemical studies evaluated cell proliferation (histone H3 and Ki-67), microvessel density (CD31), and inflammation (CD45 and CD68). Intratumoral hemorrhage was assessed by hemosiderin deposition. The expression patterns of these markers were compared with tumor size, tumor growth index, MRI appearance, patients’ age, and duration of symptoms. No relation between cell proliferation and clinical signs of tumor volume increase or MRI appearance was found. Intratumoral hemosiderin, microvessel density, and inflammation were significantly positively correlated with tumor size and the tumor growth index. Cystic and inhomogeneous tumors showed significantly more hemosiderin deposition than homogeneous tumors. The microvessel density was significantly higher in tumors with a high number of CD68-positive cells. The volume increase of vestibular schwannomas is not based on cell proliferation alone. Factors like intratumoral bleeding, (neo)vascularization, and intensity of the inflammatory reaction also influence tumor volume.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1236-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3371334  PMID: 22555941
Vestibular schwannoma; Neuropathology; Tumor biology

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