Extravascular migratory metastasis in gynaecological carcinosarcoma

J.M. Dyke, M.L. Crook, M. Platten, Colin Stewart

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Aims: Extravascular migratory metastasis (EVMM) is a potential mechanism of tumour spread reported most extensively in cutaneous melanoma. It has not been described previously in gynaecological malignancies. We describe EVMM in four gynaecological carcinosarcomas. Methods and results: Extravascular migratory metastasis was observed in an ovarian carcinosarcoma during routine diagnostic assessment. Twenty-three additional, randomly selected gynaecological carcinosarcomas (11 tubo-ovarian and 12 endometrial) were examined retrospectively and EVMM was identified in three of these. Other than the index case, EVMM was a focal finding, identified in 12-18% of slides. The malignant cells demonstrating EVMM appeared sarcomatoid and were distributed abluminally, partly or completely surrounding the endothelium. Affected vessels often showed mural fibrin deposition. Immunohistochemistry for α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), CD31, CD34, D2-40, laminin and type IV collagen was performed on the EVMM-positive cases. The perivascular malignant cells showed more consistent SMA and laminin immunoreactivity than the non-vascular tumour elements. Conclusions: Extravascular migratory metastasis is a hitherto unrecognized mechanism of tumour spread in gynaecological carcinosarcomas. The perivascular tumour cells appear to adopt a pericytic phenotype, and this may represent a specific pattern of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Further studies with pericyte-specific immunohistological markers may better demonstrate the presence and possible prognostic significance of EVMM in gynaecological tumours.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-370
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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