Is esthesioneuroblastoma a peripheral neuroectodermal tumor?

Rebecca S. Nelson, Elizabeth J. Perlman, Frederic B. Askin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB; olfactory neuroblastoma) is a rare, locally aggressive neoplasm of the sinonasal area and anterior cranial fossa. The histogenesis of the lesion is not clearly delineated, and the broad histological spectrum of ENB has confounded the issue. The location, histological features (neuropil, Homer Wright, and olfactory rosettes), and reported immunocytochemical reactions (neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and chromogranin (CHR) positivity) suggest that ENB may be a neural or neuroendocrine neoplasm derived from the olfactory membrane. Recent demonstration in two of three metastatic putative ENB cell lines of the 11; 22 chromosomal translocation, seen in Ewing's sarcoma (ES) of bone and peripheral neuroectodermal tumors (PNET) of bone and soft tissue, has led to the conclusion that ENB may be closely related histogenetically to PNET. The overwhelming majority of cases of ES and PNET express the protein product of MIC-2, a gene located on the pseudoautosomal region of the X and Y chromosomes. This protein can be identified immunocytochemically by antibodies 12E7, HBA71, and ON13. We studied the expression of MIC-2 using the 12E7 antibody as well as multiple neural markers in 18 ENB samples obtained from the files of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The patients ranged in age from 19 to 90 years (mean, 47.5; median, 47) and included five men and 13 women. None of the 18 specimens reacted with antibody 12E7, but 16 were positive for NSE, nine reacted to synaptophysin (SYN), and 13 showed antibodies to chromogranin (CHR). Our studies agree with the previous suggestions that ENB is a primitive neural tumor but fail to support the hypothesis that it is a member of the PNET family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-641
Number of pages3
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • 12E7
  • MIC2
  • esthesioneuroblastoma
  • immunohistochemistry
  • peripheral neuroectodermal tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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