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Neuroendocrine Carcinomas (Carcinoid Tumor) of the Testis
A Clinicopathologic and Immunohistochemical Study of Ten Cases

Adriana Reyes MD, Cesar A. Moran MD, Saul Suster MD, Michal Michal MD, Hugo Dominguez MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/DYUGBG911VCDLBQA 182-187 First published online: 1 August 2003


We studied 10 cases of primary pure testicular neuroendocrine carcinoma. Patients were between 16 and 48 years old and had testicular swelling with pain or a painless testicular mass and no history of neuroendocrine carcinoma or other malignant neoplasm. All underwent orchiectomy. The tumors were low (n = 9) and intermediate (n = 1) grades with a variegated histologic appearance characterized by a nesting pattern, cords of neoplastic cells with rosettes, or sheets of neoplastic cells. Mitotic activity was lacking in 9 cases. In 1 case, mitotic figures ranged from 7 to 8 per 10 high-power fields, and cellular atypia and comedo-like necrosis were present. Immunohisto-chemical studies using a keratin cocktail, chromogranin, synaptophysin, epidermal growth factor, p53, placental-like alkaline phosphatase, and CD117 (c-kit) were performed in all cases. Keratin, chromogranin, and synaptophysin were positive in all tumors. Clinical follow-up information was obtained for 6 patients (range, 12–60 months): 5 with low-grade tumors were alive 24 to 60 months after diagnosis; 1 with an intermediate-grade tumor died of tumor 12 months after initial diagnosis. The behavior of these tumors, while in the testicular region, correlates well with the histologic grade. We propose replacing the term testicular carcinoid with neuroendocrine carcinoma, which better reflects the nature of these neoplasms.

Key Words:
  • Carcinoid
  • Testis
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry