Prostatic carcinoma with signet ring cells: A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical analysis of 12 cases, with review of the literature

Michael Torbenson, Rajiv Dhir, Ajay Nangia, Michael J. Becich, Silloo B. Kapadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Prostatic adenocarcinoma with a signet ring cell (SRC) component is a rare, incompletely characterized variant that must be distinguished from similar tumors of bladder or gastric origin. In this study, we used mucin and immunoperoxidase stains on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections from 12 prostatic adenocarcinomas with SRC components, with antibodies to prostate- specific antigen (PSA), cytokeratins, MIB-1, bcl-2, c-MET, CD44v6, and CD44v7; we performed a comparison study on six bladder and seven gastric carcinomas with SRCs. The prostatic SRC component was always associated with the usual high-grade adenocarcinoma. Both components were positive for PSA, AE1/AE3, and CAM 5.2 (12 cases of 12) and also expressed c-MET (5 cases of 9), CD44v6 (9 of 10), and CDv7 (9 of 10). Only rare cells stained for bcl-2 (3 cases of 9). The mean MIB-1 proliferation index was 8%. Intracellular mucin was identified (periodic add-Schiff with diastase predigestion (PAS-D) in 9 cases of 10, mucicarmine in 5 of 10, alcian blue in 6 of 10). Bladder and gastric tumors were positive for PSA (3 cases of 6 and 2 of 7, respectively), using a polyclonal antibody, and for bcl-2 (5 cases of 6, 2 of 7), c-MET (6 of 6, 6 of 7), CD44v6 (5 of 6, 6 of 7), and CD44v7 (4 of 6, 4 of 7), with metal MIB-1 proliferation indices of 15 and 35%, respectively. All were negative for cytokeratin 34 β E12. We conclude that prostatic adenocarcinomas with SRC components are typically accompanied by high-grade adenocarcinoma; are variably positive for mucin, with PAS-D being the most sensitive stain; show expression of PSA, cytokeratins, MIB-1, bcl-2, c-MET, and CD44 similar to that shown by high-grade adenocarcinoma components; have a low MIB-1 proliferation index; and are not always distinguishable from SRC components of bladder and stomach carcinomas with any of the above stains, including PSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-559
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Bcl2
  • C-MET
  • CD44
  • Cytokeratins
  • MIB-1
  • PSA
  • Prostate
  • Signet ring cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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