The American journal of surgical pathology

Papillary serous carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a clinicopathologic study of 17 cases.

PMID 9422324


The clinical and pathologic features of 17 cases of papillary serous adenocarcinoma of the cervix (PSCC) were studied in women who ranged in age from 26 to 70 years. There was a bimodal age distribution, with one peak occurring before the age of 40 years and the second peak after the age of 65. The presenting symptoms were abnormal vaginal bleeding (11 patients), abnormal exfoliative cervical cytology (four patients), or watery vaginal discharge (two patients). On pelvic examination, eight patients had a polypoid or exophytic cervical mass and two patients had an ulcerated or indurated cervix; no abnormality was detected in seven patients. Two tumors were stage Ia, 12 were stage Ib, two were stage II, and one was stage III. Nine patients were treated by radical hysterectomy and one by simple hysterectomy; six of these patients received postoperative radiotherapy. The other patients received primary radiotherapy. On microscopic examination, all of the tumors had a complex papillary architecture with epithelial stratification and tufting. Six tumors were grade 2/3 and 11 were grade 3/3. All of the tumors had >10 mitotic figures per 10 high-power fields. An intense acute and chronic inflammatory infiltrate was typically present within the cores of the papillae and in areas of stromal invasion. Occasional psammoma bodies were present in three cases. Five of 12 tumors stained positively for p53, with six and nine of 12 tumors, respectively, immunoreactive for carcinoembryonic antigen and CA-125. Seven tumors were mixed with another histologic subtype of cervical adenocarcinoma, most commonly low-grade villoglandular adenocarcinoma. Fifteen patients were followed from 6 months to 11 years (mean 56 months). Six patients died of extensive metastases within 5 years of diagnosis; an additional patient experienced tumor recurrence with malignant ascites 2 years after diagnosis. The most common metastatic sites were pelvic and periaortic lymph nodes; other sites included cervical lymph nodes, lung, peritoneum, liver, and skin. Eight patients were alive without evidence of tumor at last follow-up. Age <65 years, stage >I, tumor size >2 cm, tumor invasion >10 mm, the presence of lymph node metastases, and elevation of serum CA-125 were associated with a poor prognosis. Tumor grade or composition (pure or mixed) did not correlate with patient outcome. Papillary serous adenocarcinoma of the cervix resembles microscopically its counterparts elsewhere in the female genital tract and peritoneum. The tumors can behave aggressively with supradiaphragmatic metastases and a rapidly fatal course when diagnosed at an advanced stage, but the outcome for patients with stage I tumors is similar to that of patients with cervical adenocarcinomas of the usual type.

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