Impact of delayed fixation and decalcification on PD-L1 expression: a comparison of two clones
The bone is a frequent localization for lung non-small cell cancer metastasis; decalcification is required to permit tissue section. Pre-analytical conditions can influence the detection of immunohistochemical markers. The aim of our work is to evaluate PD-L1 expression in samples with delayed fixation and in decalcified tissue with chelating agent or acid at different time. Tumor-expressing PD-L1 and placental tissue were fixed at different times or decalcified with an acid decalcifier or EDTA for different durations. For 22C3 antibody, when tissues were decalcified with DC3, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of tumor cells or placental villi stained which after 4 h (p = 0.035 at 4 h). When EDTA is used for 22C3 antibody, there was a slight decrease in the percentage of stained tumor cells or villi but although there was a trend (p = 0.058 at 20 h), this was never statistically significant. For E1L3N antibody, when tissues were decalcified either with DC3 or EDTA, there was no significant decrease for the proportion of stained tumor cells or placental villi, neither for staining intensity for the first 24 h. The proportion of placental villi and tumor stained or intensity of staining was not significantly lower for any sample after delayed fixation also at 24 h for both PD-L1 clones. Delayed fixation does not affect the proportion of stained cell and intensity with PD-L1 immunohistochemistry. Decalcification also performed with EDTA lower the proportion and intensity of stained cells with PD-L1 immunohistochemistry.
Cause of death and significant disease found at autopsy
The use of clinical autopsy has been in decline for many years throughout healthcare systems of developed countries despite studies showing substantial discrepancies between autopsy results and pre-mortal clinical diagnoses. We conducted a study to evaluate over time the use and results of clinical autopsies in Sweden. We reviewed the autopsy reports and autopsy referrals of 2410 adult (age > 17) deceased patients referred to two University hospitals in Sweden during two plus two years, a decade apart. There was a decline in the number of autopsies performed over time, however, mainly in one of the two hospitals. The proportion of autopsy referrals from the emergency department increased from 9 to 16%, while the proportion of referrals from regular hospital wards was almost halved. The autopsies revealed a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, with myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular lesion found in 40% and 19% of all cases, respectively. In a large proportion of cases (> 30%), significant findings of disease were not anticipated before autopsy, as judged from the referral document and additional data obtained in some but not all cases. In accordance with previous research, our study confirms a declining rate of autopsy even at tertiary, academic hospitals and points out factors possibly involved in the decline.
Epstein-Barr virus is absent in gastric superficial neoplastic lesions
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been associated with about 9% of all gastric carcinomas, but its role in gastric carcinogenesis remains unclear since there is lack of evidence of EBV presence in pre-neoplastic lesions of gastric mucosa. This study intends to determine the prevalence of EBV in gastric dysplasia and superficial neoplasia to clarify whether EBV infection is an early or late event in gastric cancer development. This retrospective study included a total of 242 gastric lesions from 199 consecutive patients who were referred for endoscopic resection. The histological classification of lesions includes 137 low- and high-grade dysplasia and 105 superficial carcinomas. EBV infection was investigated by EBER-ISH. Results showed that EBV was not detected in any epithelial cells of any case with dysplasia or superficial carcinomas, although we observed the presence of a small number of EBV-infected lymphocytes in 2.1% of all lesions. These results showed that EBV is not present in gastric dysplasia neither in superficial carcinomas suggesting that EBV carcinogenesis is a late event in well/moderately differentiated gastric carcinogenesis.
Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas with thyroid-like follicular features: first description of a new diagnostic challenging subtype
Acinar cell carcinomas (ACCs) of the pancreas are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms showing a wide spectrum of morphological features including acinar, solid, glandular, and trabecular architecture. In addition, uncommon cytological aspects have recently been described and include oncocytic, spindle, clear, and pleomorphic cell types. This wide histological spectrum represents a challenge in the diagnostic task for pathologists. Molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of ACCs are not completely known, but, in general, they differ from those observed in ductal adenocarcinomas or neuroendocrine neoplasms of the pancreas and frequently include alterations in the APC/β-catenin pathway. In the present paper, we describe a new variant of ACC showing thyroid-like follicular features and CTNNB1 mutation. This phenotype needs to be included in the spectrum of morphological presentation of ACC.
The role of Ki-67 in Asian triple negative breast cancers: a novel combinatory panel approach
The proliferation marker Ki-67 is frequently used to assess aggressiveness in the pathological evaluation of cancer, but its role remains uncertain in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We aimed to quantify and localize Ki-67 expression in both epithelial and immune compartments in TNBC and investigate its association with clinicopathological parameters and survival outcomes. A total of 406 TNBC cases diagnosed between 2003 and 2015 at Singapore General Hospital were recruited. Using state-of-the-art, 7-colour multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) tissue microarrays (TMAs) were stained to assess the abundance, density and spatial distribution of Ki-67-positive tumour cells and immune cells co-decorated with cytokeratin (CK) and leukocyte common antigen (CD45) respectively. Furthermore, MKI67 mRNA profiles were analysed using NanoString technology. In multivariate analysis adjusted for tumour size, histologic grade, age at diagnosis, and lymph node stage, a high Ki-67 labelling index (LI) > 0.3% was associated with improved disease-free survival (DFS; HR = 0.727; p = 0.027). High Ki-67-positive immune cell count per TMA was a favourable prognostic marker for both DFS (HR = 0.379; p = 0.00153) and overall survival (OS; HR = 0.473; p = 0.0482). The combination of high Ki-67 LI and high MKI67 expression was associated with improved DFS (HR = 0.239; p = 0.00639) and OS (HR = 0.213; p = 0.034). This study is among the first to highlight that Ki-67 is associated with favourable prognosis in an adjuvant setting in TNBC, and the mIF-based evaluation of Ki-67 expression on both tumour and immune cells represents a novel prognostic approach.
Type of preoperative therapy and stage-specific survival after surgery for rectal cancer: a nationwide population-based cohort study
Preoperative chemoradiation therapy (CRT) may induce downstaging in rectal cancer (RC). Short-course radiation therapy (SC-RT) with immediate surgery does not cause substantial downstaging. However, the TNM classification adds the “y” prefix in both groups to indicate possible treatment effects. We aim to compare stage-specific survival in these patients. RC patients treated with surgery only, preoperative SC-RT followed by surgery within 10 days, or preoperative CRT, and diagnosed between 2008 and 2014 were included in this population-based study. Clinicopathological and outcome characteristics were analyzed. The study included 11,925 patients. Large discrepancies existed between clinical and pathological stages after surgery only. Surgery-only patients were older with more comorbidities compared with SC-RT and CRT and had worse 5-year survival (64%, 76%, and 74%, respectively; p < 0.001). Five-year survival for stage I was similar after CRT and SC-RT (85% vs. 85%; p = 0.167) and comparable between CRT-treated patients with stage I and those reaching a pathological complete response (pCR; 85% vs. 89%; p = 0.113). CRT was independently associated with worse overall survival compared with SC-RT for stage II (HR 1.57 [95%CI 1.27–1.95]; p < 0.001) and stage III (HR 1.43 [95%CI 1.23–1.70]; p < 0.001). Stage I disease after CRT has an excellent prognosis, comparable with pCR and with same-stage SC-RT-treated patients without regression. Stage II or III after CRT has worse prognosis than after SC-RT with immediate surgery. TNM should take the impact of preoperative therapy type on stage-specific survival into account. In addition, clinical stage was a poor predictor of pathological stage.
Digital versus light microscopy assessment of extraprostatic extension in radical prostatectomy samples
Focal or non-focal/extensive extraprostatic extension of prostate carcinoma is an important pathologic prognostic parameter to be reported after radical prostatectomy. Currently, there is no agreement on how to measure and what are the best cutoff points to be used in practice. We hypothesized that digital microscopy would potentially provide more objective measurements of extraprostatic extension, thus better defining its clinical significance. To further our knowledge on digital prostate pathology, we evaluated the status of extraprostatic extension in 107 consecutive laparoscopic radical prostatectomy samples, using digital and conventional light microscopy. Mean linear and radial measurements of extraprostatic extension by digital microscopy significantly correlated to pT status (p = 0.022 and p = 0.050, respectively) but only radial measurements correlated to biochemical recurrence (p = 0.042) and grade groups (p = 0.022). None of the measurements, whether conventional or digital, were associated with lymph node status. Receiving operating characteristic analysis showed a potential cutoff point to assess linear measurements by conventional (< vs. > 24.21 mm) or digital microscopy (< vs. > 15 mm) or by radial measurement (< vs. > 1.6 mm). Finally, we observed an association between the number of paraffin blocks bearing EPE with pT (p = 0.041) status (digital microscopy), and linear measurements by conventional (p = 0.044) or digital microscopy (p = 0.045) with lymph node status. Reporting EPE measurements by digital microscopy, both linear and radial, and the number of paraffin blocks with EPE, might provide additional prognostic features after radical prostatectomy.