Objective High-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma of uterine cervix (HGNCUC) has been recognized as a highly malignant tumor. Therapeutic strategy specific to neuroendocrine (NE) tumors needs to be considered, but some cases wouldn't allow simple final diagnoses. Insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1), which is a zinc-finger transcription factor related to NE differentiation, is frequently expressed in NE tumors. We investigated the association between INSM1 and HGNCUC, and the possibility of INSM1 as a useful NE marker. Methods Thirty-seven cases of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded HGNCUCs were evaluated immunohistochemically for conventional NE markers and INSM1. We also surveyed polymerase chain reactions and examined the frequency and the genotype of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Results In HGNCUC, chromogranin A, synaptophysin and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) were expressed in 86%, 86% and 68%, respectively. In addition, INSM1 was detected in 95%. Positivity for INSM1 was clearly evaluated histologically, because the intensity of nuclear staining on positive cells was high and nonspecific reactions were minimal. In uni- and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors on stage I and II surgical cases, the association between INSM1 expression and prognosis was insignificant. We confirmed 72% of 29 examined cases had high risk HPV infections (type 16, 14%; type 18, 86%). Conclusions This study has clarified that INSM1 is closely related to the development of HGNCUC, and a useful new NE marker in conducting its correct and rapid diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas