Fascin expression in undifferentiated and dedifferentiated endometrial carcinoma

Colin Stewart, M.L. Crook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Summary The actin-binding protein fascin promotes cellular invasion, and increased fascin expression correlates with adverse prognostic factors in a variety of tumors. Fascin up-regulation may also be associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition in neoplastic epithelial cells. This study investigated fascin expression in undifferentiated and dedifferentiated endometrial carcinoma (UEC), a clinically aggressive variant of endometrial neoplasia. Twenty-two UECs, 5 of which were entirely undifferentiated and 17 dedifferentiated, were examined. In the dedifferentiated group, staining was compared between the differentiated and undifferentiated tumor components. Where applicable, fascin expression was noted in foci of lymphovascular space invasion. The mean age was 67.6 years, and 11 patients (50%) presented with stage III or IV disease. The undifferentiated tumor component showed diffuse fascin expression in 20 cases (91%) including 4 of 5 pure undifferentiated carcinomas and 16 of 17 dedifferentiated carcinomas. In contrast, the low-grade endometrioid carcinoma component of 13 (77%) of 17 dedifferentiated carcinomas was fascin negative or showed only focal staining. Intravascular undifferentiated tumor cells were identified in 16 cases, and these were consistently fascin positive, whereas low-grade intravascular tumor cells, present in 2 cases, were not stained. Fascin up-regulation may be a contributory factor toward the highly invasive character of UEC and could represent an epithelial-mesenchymal transition-like process in these tumors. Fascin expression in intravascular tumor cells may be permissive toward intravascular survival and metastatic risk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1514-1520
    JournalHuman Pathology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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