Fatty acid synthase overexpression in adult testicular germ cell tumors: potential role in the progression of non-seminomatous germ cell tumors

Kosuke Miyai, Keiichi Iwaya, Tomohiko Asano, Seiichi Tamai, Osamu Matsubara, Hitoshi Tsuda
Virchows Archiv: An International Journal of Pathology 2014, 464 (2): 221-8
Overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), which is a key enzyme responsible for the endogenous synthesis of fatty acids, and its association with multistep progression have been demonstrated in various human malignant tumors. We aimed to clarify the potential role of FASN overexpression in the development and progression of adult testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs). From the primary sites of a cohort of 113 TGCT cases, we obtained 221 histological components: 53 intratubular germ cell neoplasias, unclassified (IGCNUs), 84 seminomas, 32 embryonal carcinomas, seven choriocarcinomas, 21 yolk sac tumors, and 24 teratomas. Samples were analyzed for overexpression of FASN by immunohistochemistry. Intensities of immunoreactivity and the fraction of positive cells were classified into each four categories (intensity, 0 to 3; fraction, 0-10 % = 1, 11-50 % = 2, 51-80 % = 3, and >80 % = 4). The overall score was determined by multiplication of both scores and overall scores greater than 6 were considered FASN overexpression. On a component basis, FASN overexpression was detected in 8 % of seminomas but not in IGCNUs (0 %) and was detected frequently in non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTs) (88 % of embryonal carcinomas, all choriocarcinomas, 81 % of yolk sac tumors, and 54 % of teratomas). There were no cases of a mixed tumor (i.e., a tumor with multiple histological components) that overexpressed FASN in seminoma components but not in co-existing NSGCT components, suggesting sequential progression. Our immunohistochemical data suggest that FASN overexpression occurs as a late event during the progression from IGCNUs/seminomas to NSGCTs.

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