Which immunohistochemical findings are characteristic of true malignant mixed tumor (carcinosarcoma)?

Updated: Dec 01, 2015
  • Author: M Sherif Said, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: M Sherif Said, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The immunohistochemical panel varies, depending on the observed biphasic components of the tumor. Generally speaking, however, the carcinomatous component is usually positive for cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA). However, it should be noted that in very poorly differentiated tumors, the carcinomatous component may show only focal or weak positive staining for cytokeratins or EMA, a feature that is sometimes encountered in very poorly differentiated cancers of the head and neck. In such cases, electron microscopy may be helpful. The sarcomatous component is vimentin positive.


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