The Role of Immunohistochemistry in the Analysis of the Spectrum of Small Round Cell Tumours at a Tertiary Care Centre
Dr Lawrence Dâ€™Cruze,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Sri
Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute,
Porur, Chennai-602116, India.
Context: The term, â€śSmall Round â€“ Cell Tumoursâ€ť (SRCT) describes a group of highly aggressive malignant neoplasms which are composed predominantly of small and monotonous undifferentiated cells with high nucleocytoplasmic ratios. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) plays a crucial role in catagorizing the small round â€“ cell tumours.
Aims: This study was done to analyse the spectrum of small round cell tumours over a period of five years at a tertiary care centre and to study the relevance of immunohistochemistry in making precise diagnoses of the small round cell tumours.
Materials and Method: Formalin â€“ fixed, paraffin â€“ embedded sections of tumours which were diagnosed as small round cell tumours on small biopsies and resected specimens were retrieved from the files of the Department of Pathology of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research institute, in the period from January 2005 to December 2009. This study was confined to the bone and the soft tissues. Decalcification was performed on the bony tissues before the routine processing was done. The patients belonging to all age groups were included in this study. The small round cell tumours of the bone marrow, the spleen and the lymph node was excluded from our study. Immunohistochemical stains were performed to differentiate and categorise the small round blue cell tumours. The immunomarkers which were utilised in this study included CD45/LCA (the lymphocyte common antigen), CD20, CD3, CD99 (cluster of differentiation 99 also known as MIC2), desmin, EMA (epithelial membrane antigen), CK(cytokeratin), synaptophysin, chromogranin and GFAP (Glial fibrillary acidic protein).
Results: Forty three cases of small round cell tumours were analysed, which included 19 cases of NHL (non Hodgkinâ€™s lymphoma), 6 cases of Ewing/PNETs (primitive neuroectodermal tumours), 3 cases of atypical carcinoid, 3 cases of olfactory neuroblastoma, 2 cases each of rhabdomyosarcoma, Wilms tumour, neuroblastoma and synovial sarcoma and 1 case each of small cell osteosarcoma, small (oat) cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma and hepatoblastoma. By using a panel of monoclonal antibodies, we could arrive at a final diagnosis for all the 40 cases in which immunohistochemistry was performed.
Conclusions: Our study showed that the use of immunohistochemistry was extremely beneficial. A majority of the small round cell tumours occurred between the ages of 15-45 years and the most common small round cell tumour was Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (extra lymphoreticular).