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Pathol Res Pract. 1991 Jan;187(1):44-9.

Human chorionic gonadotropin in esophageal carcinomas. An immunohistochemical study.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Hospital de Bellvitge Princeps d'Espanya, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain.


We have examined immunohistochemically the presence of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in 29 esophageal carcinomas: 24 squamous cell carcinomas, 2 adenocarcinomas, 2 adenoid cystic carcinomas and 1 adenosquamous carcinoma. In hCG-positive tumors, the presence of human placental lactogen (hPL) and pregnancy-specific beta-1 glycoprotein (SP-1) was also assessed. HCG immunoreactive cells were found in 5 squamous cell carcinomas (21%) and in none of 5 non-squamous cell tumors. The hCG positive cells were found in the most infiltrating areas of the tumors where poorly differentiated and pleomorphic cells predominated. The positive tumors were 4 poorly differentiated (31%) and one moderately differentiated carcinoma (12%). Four out of 10 cases (40%) with lymph node metastases had hCG in the primary tumor, whereas only one out of 11 cases (9%) without metastases was hCG positive. HPL and SP-1 were found in two cases. These placental proteins were detected in similar areas than hCG but the number of hPL and SP-1 immunoreactive cells was lower than hCG positive cells. SP-1 was also seen in areas of squamous cell differentiation negative for hCG. None of these two cases showed trophoblastic differentiation.

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