Comparison of PAX6 and PAX8 as Immunohistochemical Markers for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

Academic Article

Abstract

  • To compare the utility of PAX6 and PAX8 as immunohistochemical markers for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of pancreatic origin, we performed PAX6 and PAX8 immunostains on 178 NETs, including 110 primary NETs (26 pancreatic, 10 gastric, 12 duodenal, 22 jejuno-ileal, 10 rectal, 30 pulmonary) and 68 NETs metastatic to the liver (24 pancreatic, 1 duodenal, 37 jejuno-ileal, 1 rectal, 5 pulmonary). Among primary NETs, PAX6 and PAX8 were positive in 65 % (17/26) and 73 % (19/26) of pancreatic, 0 % (0/10) and 10 % (1/10) of gastric, 92 % (11/12) and 92 % (11/12) of duodenal, 0 % (0/22) and 0 % (0/22) of jejuno-ileal, 90 % (9/10) and 80 % (8/10) of rectal, and 0 % (0/30) and 23 % (7/30) of pulmonary NETs, respectively. PAX6 and PAX8 positivity was seen in 46 % (11/24) and 50 % (12/24) of metastatic pancreatic NETs to the liver, respectively. None of the nonpancreatic NETs metastatic to the liver were immunoreactive for either PAX6 or PAX8. PAX6 showed a slightly but statistically significant higher specificity for pancreatic NETs than did PAX8 (P = 0.039), while the sensitivities were similar (P = 0.51). PAX6 had the additional advantages over PAX8 of not exhibiting nonspecific cytoplasmic staining of tumor cells and only infrequently staining background lymphocytes. Since rectal NETs rarely present with metastatic disease, positive staining of a metastatic NET of unknown primary origin for PAX6 and/or PAX8 favors a pancreatic or duodenal origin. This information may be helpful in directing further diagnostic studies to identify the primary site of the metastatic tumor.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lai JP; Mertens RB; Mirocha J; Koo J; Venturina M; Chung F; Mendez AB; Kahn M; Dhall D
  • Start Page

  • 54
  • End Page

  • 62
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1