Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors of the Female Genital Tract: A Morphologic, Immunohistochemical, and Molecular Study of 19 Cases

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Abstract

Primary primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) of the female genital tract is rare, and its proper classification remains unclear. The clinical, histologic, and immunophenotypic features as well as EWSR1 rearrangement status of 19 gynecologic PNETs, including 10 ovarian, 8 uterine, and 1 vulvar tumors, are herein reported. Patient age ranged from 12 to 68 years, with a median age of 20 and 51 years among those with ovarian and uterine PNETs, respectively. Morphologic features of central nervous system (CNS) tumors were seen in 15 PNETs, including 9 medulloblastomas, 3 ependymomas, 2 medulloepitheliomas, and 1 glioblastoma, consistent with central PNET. The remaining 4 PNETs were composed entirely of undifferentiated small round blue cells and were classified as Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNET. Eight PNETs were associated with another tumor type, including 5 ovarian mature cystic teratomas, 2 endometrial low-grade endometrioid carcinomas, and a uterine carcinosarcoma. By immunohistochemistry, 17 PNETs expressed at least 1 marker of neuronal differentiation, including synaptophysin, NSE, CD56, S100, and chromogranin in 10, 8, 14, 8, and 1 tumors, respectively. GFAP was positive in 4 PNETs, all of which were of central type. Membranous CD99 and nuclear Fli-1 staining was seen in 10 and 16 tumors, respectively, and concurrent expression of both markers was seen in both central and Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNETs. All tumors expressed vimentin, whereas keratin cocktail (CAM5.2, AE1/AE3) staining was only focally present in 4 PNETs. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was successful in all cases and confirmed EWSR1 rearrangement in 2 of 4 tumors demonstrating morphologic features of Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNET and concurrent CD99 and Fli-1 expression. In conclusion, central and Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNETs may be encountered in the female genital tract with central PNETs being more common. Central PNETs show a spectrum of morphologic features that overlaps with CNS tumors but lack EWSR1 rearrangements. GFAP expression supports a morphologic impression of central PNET and is absent in Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNET. Ewing sarcoma/peripheral PNETs lack morphologic features of CNS tumors.

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