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Int J Surg Pathol. 2013 Aug;21(4):342-51. doi: 10.1177/1066896912471849.

Immunohistochemical studies of metastatic germ-cell tumors in retroperitoneal dissection specimens: a sensitive and specific panel.

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Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19094, USA.


Germ-cell tumors (GCTs) are the most common malignancies in adolescent and young men. These tumors are highly treatable, even at an advanced stage; therefore, accurate diagnosis is imperative. In this study, we evaluated immunohistochemical stains for SALL4, NANOG, glypican-3 (GPC3), D2-40, and CD30 with adequate control in retroperitoneal dissection specimens under the same laboratory conditions. The study groups included 31 cases of metastatic testicular GCTs with the following components: 11 seminomas, 14 embryonal carcinoma (ECs), 12 yolk sac tumor (YSTs), 8 teratomas, 10 cases of metastatic melanomas, 14 cases of malignant lymphomas, and 11 cases of metastatic, poorly differentiated carcinoma. SALL4 showed diffuse nuclear labeling for all seminomas, ECs, and YSTs. NANOG showed diffuse nuclear positivity in all seminomas and ECs. Metastatic carcinomas, melanomas, and malignant lymphomas were negative for these 2 markers. Gypican-3, D2-40, and CD30 showed sensitive staining for YSTs, seminomas, and ECs, respectively. In conclusion, SALL4 and NANOG are sensitive and specific markers for GCTs. GPC3, D2-40, and CD30 are sensitive but not specific for individual components of GCTs and may be useful in aiding in the differential diagnosis for the individual component of GCTs when the identity of GCT is established.


CD30; D2-40; NANOG; SALL4; germ-cell tumors; glypican-3; retroperitoneal

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