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Mod Pathol. 2008 Sep;21(9):1147-55. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2008.108. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

Immunophenotyping of serous carcinoma of the female genital tract.

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Department of Anatomic Pathology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


To update the data on the expression of 'mesothelioma markers' by serous carcinomas of various sites we have studied cases from ovary (n=56), endometrium (n=37), fallopian tube (n=6), primary peritoneum (n=5) and cervix (n=3) using a panel of antibodies (WT1, P53, estrogen receptors, HER2/neu, D2-40, cytokeratin 5/6 and E-cadherin). Ovarian carcinomas demonstrated D2-40 and cytokeratin 5/6 immunoreactivity in 23.2 and 55.4% of cases, respectively. Endometrial carcinomas demonstrated D2-40 and cytokeratin 5/6 immunoreactivity in 43.2 and 37.8% of cases, respectively. D2-40 staining pattern was predominantly focal; however, strong reactivity was identified in 16.2% of endometrial and 10.7% of ovarian carcinomas. HER2/neu oncoprotein overexpression was demonstrated in 7 of 37 (18.9%) uterine serous carcinomas. In contrast, all the serous carcinomas of the other sites were HER2/neu negative. The proportion of positive cases was significantly different in ovarian vs endometrial carcinomas regarding WT1 (P=0.0458), estrogen receptors (P<0.001) reactivity and HER2/neu overexpression (P=0.0025). D2-40 and cytokeratin 5/6 are expressed in a considerable proportion of serous carcinomas and should be used cautiously in a 'mesothelioma panel' in situations where serous carcinoma is in the differential diagnosis. HER2/neu was exclusively overexpressed in serous carcinomas of endometrial origin.

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