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  • Significant immunohistochemical expression of human chorionic gonadotropin in high-grade osteosarcoma is rare, but may be associated with clinically elevated serum levels.

Significant immunohistochemical expression of human chorionic gonadotropin in high-grade osteosarcoma is rare, but may be associated with clinically elevated serum levels.

Pediatric and developmental pathology : the official journal of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Paediatric Pathology Society (2014-05-27)
Anna F Lee, Bruce R Pawel, Lisa M Sullivan
要旨

Survival rates have plateaued at 70% for osteosarcoma. Proteins ectopically produced by malignant tumors may provide insight into new therapeutic targets. Osteosarcomas secreting human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) have been suggested to have a worse prognosis. We examined the frequency of expression of β-subunit of hCG (β-hCG) in pretreatment osteosarcoma biopsies, and asked if it was associated with various clinical prognostic parameters, and the development of metastases. We subjected 51 pretreatment biopsies of high-grade osteosarcoma, from 51 patients, to β-hCG immunohistochemistry. In 19 of these patients, postchemotherapy metastatic biopsies also were examined for β-hCG expression. Clinical information (patient age, sex, survival status, and serum hCG in females only), and tumor characteristics (site, size, and presence of metastases) were recorded. The β-hCG positive and negative biopsies were separated and compared. Of 49 interpretable pretreatment biopsies, 28 (57%) showed positive cytoplasmic β-hCG expression: 27 with sparse positivity (1% of tumor cells) and 1 with frequent positivity (10% of tumor cells). The patient with frequent β-hCG positivity in her pretreatment biopsy had elevated serum hCG (88.2 mIU/mL) at diagnosis, decreasing to undetectable following chemotherapy and definitive resection. There was no difference in clinical parameters or rate of metastasis between β-hCG positive versus negative groups. Expression of β-hCG may be seen in high-grade osteosarcoma, but frequent β-hCG immunohistochemical expression by tumor cells, associated with clinically elevated serum β-hCG, is rare. Recognition that some nongerm cell tumors may produce β-hCG can prevent confusion with malignancies containing neoplastic syncytiotrophoblast cells, including germ cell and trophoblastic tumors.

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