Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (6): 2548-2553

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202103_25418

Basics for surgeons about the immunohistochemistry role in pancreatic NETs diagnosis

L. Romano, A. Giuliani, V. Vicentini, M. Schietroma, F. Carlei

Department of General Surgery, Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy. lucia.romano@graduate.univaq.it


OBJECTIVE: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are neuroendocrine tumors primarily found in the pancreas and upper small intestine. There are ten different pNETs: nine of these are associated with a specific functional syndrome, while one is not associated with a specific hormonal syndrome, and it is called non-functional. Up to 90% of pNETs are classified as non-functional. Immunohistochemistry is essential to define the diagnosis. However, to have a correct and reliable diagnosis, the pathologist must have adequately collected and treated tissue samples, thus the surgeon himself should be aware of some fundamental notions about tissue collection and fixation. Although several common biomarkers have been described to date, Chromogranin A and synaptophysin are currently considered the most specific immunohistochemical markers for NETs. Nearly 100% of pNETs are positive for both synaptophysin and Chromogranin A. Therefore, CgA and synaptophysin are effective for well-differentiated NETs but are less helpful in the diagnosis of poorly differentiated NECs, due to dedifferentiation, and then, degranulation of tumor cells. The Neuronal Specific Enolase (NSE) results to be an adequate marker in these cases. Considering the specific markers, many studies reported that endocrine pancreatic neoplasms are able to produce many different polypeptides and amines. Through immunohistochemical techniques, it is possible to define the diagnosis of pNET, which allows the clinicians to direct the patient to an effective therapeutic procedure. But to have a correct and reliable diagnosis, the tissue samples have to be adequately collected and treated.

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To cite this article

L. Romano, A. Giuliani, V. Vicentini, M. Schietroma, F. Carlei
Basics for surgeons about the immunohistochemistry role in pancreatic NETs diagnosis

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 6
Pages: 2548-2553
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202103_25418