An immunohistochemical panel to distinguish ovarian from uterine serous papillary carcinomas

Yaxia Zhang, Monica T. Garcia-Buitrago, Tulay Koru-Sengul, Samer Schuman, Parvin Ganjei-Azar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Serous papillary carcinomas (SPCs) share a similar morphology regardless of whether they originate from the ovary or the uterus. Identification of the site of origin of the tumor can be a challenging and a diagnostic dilemma, particularly, in the setting of a pelvic mass or peritoneal carcinomatosis. Recognition of the site of origin influences the staging, management, and prognosis of these malignancies. The purpose of this study is to identify a panel of markers to distinguish the ovarian serous papillary carcinomas (OSPC) from the uterine serous papillary carcinomas (USPC). Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival tissue from 46 cases of SPCs (33 uterine and 13 ovarian) were stained using antibodies for estrogen receptor (ER), WT1, insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3), p53, and p16. The OSPC expressed ER (92%), WT1 (100%), IMP3 (92%), p53 (92%), and p16 (92%). The USPCs expressed ER (30%), WT1 (64%), IMP3 (85%), p53 (64%), and p16 (76%). Only ER expression was significantly higher in OSPC compared with USPCs (P<0.001). The combined ERWT1 phenotype was present in 92% of the OSPC, whereas only 18% of the USPCs had the same phenotype (P<0.001). Furthermore, 71% of the OSPCs expressed ER, p53, WT1, IMP3, and p16 immunophenotype, whereas in USPCs, the tumor cells showed immunophenotypic diversity, with only 6% of the USPCs expressing reactivity to all the 5 markers (P<0.001). This study suggests that ER alone or in combination with a limited panel of markers may be used to identify the site of origin of SPCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-481
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ER
  • IMP3
  • Ovarian
  • p16
  • p53
  • Serous papillary carcinoma
  • Uterine
  • WT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'An immunohistochemical panel to distinguish ovarian from uterine serous papillary carcinomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this