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Diagn Pathol. 2011 May 31;6:46. doi: 10.1186/1746-1596-6-46.

Diagnostic dilemmas of squamous differentiation in prostate carcinoma case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


We report a case of pure squamous cell carcinoma involving the prostate and urinary bladder and describe the diagnostic dilemmas that we faced in trying to determine its origin. The patient was diagnosed ten years ago with prostatic adenocarcinoma treated with radioactive seed implantation. During the last year he also underwent a TURP procedure for urinary obstruction complicated by multiple infections. Postsurgery, the patient developed colo-urethral fistula and decision to perform cystoprostatectomy was taken. Excision illustrated a tumor mass replacing the entire prostate that microscopically proved to be squamous cell carcinoma. The challenge that we encountered was to determine its origin, the possibilities being divergent differentiation from adenocarcinoma post radiation therapy, de novo neoplasm or urothelial carcinoma with extensive squamous differentiation. Our literature review showed also that the etiology of prostatic squamous carcinoma is still unclear. We present our approach in an attempt to solve this dilemma.

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