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Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology

Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the urinary bladder: a clinicopathologic study of 13 cases.


PMID 11469686

Abstract

Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELCA) of the urinary bladder is a rare variant of bladder cancer characterized by a malignant epithelial component densely infiltrated by lymphoid cells. It is characterized by indistinct cytoplasmic borders and a syncytial growth pattern. These neoplasms deserve recognition and attention, chiefly because they may be responsive to chemotherapy. We report on the clinicopathologic features of 13 cases of LELCA recorded since 1981. The chief complaint in all 13 patients was hematuria. Their ages ranged from 58 years to 82 years. All tumors were muscle invasive. A significant lymphocytic reaction was present in all of these tumors. There were three pure LELCA and six predominant LELCA with a concurrent transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). The remainder four cases had a focal LELCA component admixed with TCC. Immunohistochemistry showed LELCA to be reactive against epithelial membrane antigen and several cytokeratins (CKs; AE1/AE3, AE1, AE3, CK7, and CK8). CK20 and CD44v6 stained focally. The lymphocytic component was composed of a mixture of T and B cells intermingled with some dendritic cells and histiocytes. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) immunostaining and in situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus were negative in all 13 cases. DNA ploidy of these tumors gave DNA histograms with diploid peaks (n=7) or non-diploid peaks (aneuploid or tetraploid; n=6). All patients with pure and 66% with predominant LELCA were alive, while all patients having focal LELCA died of disease. Our data suggest that pure and predominant LELCA of the bladder appear to be morphologically and clinically different from other bladder (undifferentiated and poorly differentiated conventional TCC) carcinomas and should be recognized as separate clinicopathological variants of TCC with heavy lymphocytic reaction relevant in patient management.