ProEx™ C is a useful ancillary study for grading anal intraepithelial neoplasia alone and in combination with other biomarkers

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Abstract

Anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) is a precursor to invasive anal squamous cell carcinoma. Histologic evaluation is hampered by intra- and interobserver variability. Various biomarkers have been investigated to improve the accuracy and reproducibility of diagnosis and grading, but interpretation can be challenging. ProEx™ C is an antibody cocktail for proteins upregulated in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. This study investigated ProEx™ C's role alone and with p16 and Ki-67 in the diagnosis and grading of AIN. Sixty-seven anal tissue samples (22 AIN I, 25 AIN II/III, and 20 non-dysplastic) were stained for ProEx™ C, Ki-67, and p16. Staining patterns were recorded and correlated with morphologic diagnoses. Considering AIN II/III vs I, full-thickness ProEx™ C staining was more frequent in AIN II/III (p = 0.0373), and showed the highest sensitivity of the biomarkers. In combination with Ki-67, sensitivity was lower, but specificity for AIN II/III rose to 83%. For differentiating non-dysplasia from AIN I, negative ProEx™ C staining correlated with non-dysplasia (p < 0.0001) and had the highest sensitivity (90%). In combination with Ki-67, sensitivity dropped to 80%, but specificity was high (96%). ProEx™ C is useful for diagnosing and grading AIN, performing as well or better than other markers at identifying AIN II/III and non-dysplastic epithelium.

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