Pulmonary carcinosarcoma: immunohistochemical and ultrastructural studies

S Haraguchi, Y Fukuda, Y Sugisaki, N Yamanaka
Pathology International 1999, 49 (10): 903-8
A case of pulmonary carcinosarcoma in a 68-year-old male patient is reported. The tumor in the resected left upper lobe extended mainly endobronchially, invading the normal bronchial lumina and mucosa. The carcinomatous component consisted of poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and was mainly located in the periphery of the tumor nests. The sarcomatous component consisted of chondrosarcoma and was mainly located in the center of the tumor nests. Tumor cells in the sarcomatous component reacted with anti-S-100 protein antibody and were surrounded with abundant homogeneous extracellular matrix staining positively with Alcian blue. The transition from the carcinomatous component to the sarcomatous component appeared to be very smooth. The tumor cells in both the carcinomatous and sarcomatous components reacted with anti-epithelial membrane antigen antibody. Ultrastructurally, the tumor cells with tonofibrils in the carcinomatous component were apposed and connected to each other by desmosomes. By contrast, in the sarcomatous component, the tumor cells had well-developed and dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum and were arranged loosely in a myxomatous matrix. Some tumor cells in the sarcomatous component had occasional tonofibrils, and were apposed and connected to each other by desmosome-like structures. It is shown for the first time, ultrastructurally and immunohistochemically, that the tumor cells in the sarcomatous component of pulmonary carcinosarcomas have features of both epithelial and mesenchymal cells. It is suggested that the sarcomatous component in the present case is derived from the carcinomatous component.

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