Small cell neuroendocrine carcinomas of the uterine cervix: A histological, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic study

Gabriela Mirei Ishida, Noriko Kato, Tadashi Hayasaka, Maki Saito, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Yousei Katayama, Shunichi Sasou, Nobuo Yaegashi, Hirohisa Kurachi, Teiichi Motoyama

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Small cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix are rare tumors with an aggressive behavior. Although these tumors can exhibit neuroendocrine differentiation, the criteria for neuroendocrine differentiation are subjective and not well defined. In this study, the authors tentatively defined small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (SCNEC) as a tumor composed of small cells with at least two of the following: argyrophilic cytoplasm, chromogranin A immunoreactivity, and synaptophysin immunoreactivity. We found 10 cases fulfilling these requirements. Five of the 10 tumors were composed mainly of small ("oat") cells and 5 of mainly larger "intermediate" cells. The majority of both subtypes showed an insular pattern. Three of the 10 SCNECs were pure, whereas the other seven were mixed with adenocarcinoma and/or squamous cell carcinoma or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. In addition to the definitional markers noted earlier, the tumors were immunoreactive for serotonin (6 cases), somatostatin (5), gastrin (3), glucagon (1), and pancreatic polypeptide (1). No tumors were immunoreactive for cytokeratin 20. Human papillomavirus (HPV)-18 was detected in all of the pure tumors and both the SCNEC and adenocarcinomatous components in four of the mixed tumors. No other types of HPV were detected. The tumors showed a relatively low frequency of loss of heterozygosity for representative tumor suppressor gene sites; p53 mutations were found in only one case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-372
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct


  • Amine and peptide hormone
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Neuroendocrine differentiation
  • Small cell carcinoma
  • Uterine cervix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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