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Am J Surg Pathol. 1988 Feb;12(2):134-44.

"Adenoid cystic" carcinoma and adenoid basal carcinoma of the uterine cervix. A study of 28 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and adenoid basal carcinoma (ABC) of the uterine cervix are rare tumors that have often been regarded as a single entity. We studied 28 cases of these neoplasms, with 14 cases in each category. Most patients were over 60 years of age, and there was a high proportion of black women. The majority of the women with ACC presented with postmenopausal bleeding and had an obvious mass on pelvic examination. Despite the tumors' architectural similarity to ACC of the salivary gland, microscopic examination of the cervical carcinomas showed necrosis, a high mitotic rate, and greater nuclear pleomorphism. In all but one of the cases, the tumor cells were negative for S-100 protein on immunoperoxidase staining--a finding that provides evidence against a myoepithelial component. However, S-100-positive dendritic cells were present in the stroma of the tumors and among the neoplastic cells. The patients with ABC were usually asymptomatic, without a gross abnormality of the cervix. Microscopic examination disclosed small nests of basaloid cells, almost always beneath, and often arising from, in situ or small invasive squamous cell carcinomas. In contrast to ABC, ACC was often complicated by local recurrence or distant metastasis. We conclude that ACC of the uterine cervix differs from ACC of salivary gland origin and is also distinct clinically and pathologically from cervical ABC.

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