Proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma in a 36-year-old man: Closer immunoelectron-microscopic resemblance of the tumor cells to epithelial cells than to mesenchymal cells

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Proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma (PES) is a rare neoplasm. We report a case of PES that arose in the perineal subcutis of a 36-year-old Japanese man who died within 4 months of the first clinical sign, probably due to massive pulmonary metastases. In the present study, we analyzed the tumor obtained at surgery, immunohistochemically, immunoelectron-microscopically and genetically. Although the tumor cells in the patient expressed both cytokeratin and vimentin immunohistochemically, they showed epithelial characteristics immunoelectron-microscopically because they had tonofilaments constructed of cytokeratin, not vimentin. In addition, the cytokeratins expressed on the tumor were glandular-type keratins. These findings indicate that PES may be a form of carcinoma in soft tissue. To ascertain the possible origin of the tumor, we compared the tumor immunohistochemically with fetal tissues. Although notochord and fetal peritoneal mesothelium were similar to the tumor antigenically, we could not confirm the specific origin of the tumor. Furthermore, the p53-WAF1 pathway did not contribute to tumorigenesis in the patient because the tumor had no mutation in exons 5–8 of the p53 gene and was immunohistochemically positive for WAF1.

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