Confirmation of genitourinary high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas (GU-HGNECs) often requires immunohistochemical staining. Here we evaluated a novel neuroendocrine marker, insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1), in GU-HGNECs with comparison to chromogranin, synaptophysin and CD56. Immunohistochemical expression of INSM1, chromogranin, synaptophysin, and CD56 was evaluated in 39 GU-HGNECs using full tissue sections [4 in kidney, 28 in urinary bladder, and 7 in prostate; 31 small cell carcinomas (SmCCs), 6 large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNECs), 2 mixed SmCC-LCNECs]. In 33 SmCCs/components, INSM1 showed similar sensitivity (93.9 %) to chromogranin (87.8 %), synaptophysin (93.9 %) and CD56 (87.8 %), and stained a similar percentage of tumor cells (52 %) to chromogranin (49 %) and CD56 (52 %), but lower than synaptophysin (87 %) (p < 0.0001). In 8 LCNECs/components, INSM1 is similar to chromogranin, synaptophysin or CD56 in sensitivity (62.5 %, 62.5 %, 75 %, 62.5 %, respectively) and the mean percentage of positively stained tumor cells (21 %, 44 %, 48 %, 37 %, respectively). INSM1 is more sensitive for SmCCs than LCNECs (93.9 % vs. 62.5 %, p = 0.015). INSM1 showed 97.4 % specificity upon analyzing 273 genitourinary non-neuroendocrine tumors on tissue microarrays. Our study indicates that INSM1 is a sensitive marker for genitourinary HGNECs with high specificity. For genitourinary SmCCs, INSM1 shows similar sensitivity to chromogranin, synaptophysin and CD56 but stains a lower percentage of tumor cells than synaptophysin. For genitourinary LCNECs, INSM1 showed similar sensitivity to chromogranin, synaptophysin and CD56. INSM1 is more sensitive for genitourinary SmCCs than LCNECs. Our result and literature review indicate that whether INSM1 is more sensitive than conventional neuroendocrine markers for HGNECs depends on the tumor primary sites.
- Genitourinary tract
- High grade neuroendocrine carcinoma
- Insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1)
- Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma
- Small cell carcinoma