Is Invasive Micropapillary Serous Carcinoma a Low-grade Carcinoma?

Yoshihiro Ohishi, Hiroko Imamura, Murasaki Aman, Kaai Shida, Tsunehisa Kaku, Kiyoko Kato, Yoshinao Oda
International Journal of Gynecological Pathology 2016, 35 (1): 56-65
"Invasive micropapillary serous carcinoma" has been proposed as a synonym for low-grade serous carcinoma by some expert pathologists. In contrast, Singer and colleagues reported that some serous carcinomas with conspicuous invasive micropapillary pattern (SC-IMPs) can show high-grade nuclear atypia. However, the molecular features of such tumors have not been well documented. The aim of this study was to demonstrate and emphasize the fact that high-grade serous carcinoma confirmed by immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis can show conspicuous invasive micropapillary pattern. We selected 24 "SC-IMPs" and investigated: (1) their morphologic features; (2) the immunostaining pattern of p53 protein; and (3) KRAS/BRAF/TP53 gene mutations. The 24 SC-IMPs were subdivided into low-grade and high-grade tumors based primarily on the nuclear atypia, with the mitotic rate used as a secondary feature: low grade (n=5) and high grade (n=19). Low-grade SC-IMPs were characterized by low-mitotic activity, absence of abnormal mitosis, presence of serous borderline tumor, occasional BRAF mutation, and infrequent TP53 mutation. High-grade SC-IMPs were characterized by high-mitotic activity, presence of abnormal mitosis, conventional high-grade serous carcinoma, frequent TP53 mutation, and lack of KRAS/BRAF mutation. We demonstrated that high-grade serous carcinoma confirmed by aberrant p53 immunostaining and molecular analysis can show conspicuous invasive micropapillary pattern, validating Singer and colleague's report. Serous carcinoma with conspicuous invasive micropapillary pattern should not be readily regarded as low-grade serous carcinoma. Nuclear grade is the most important diagnostic feature in the SC-IMPs.

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