Organic cation transporter 3/4 (OCT3/4) is a transcription factor of embryonic stem cells; c-kit (CD117) is a tyrosine kinase receptor implicated in seminoma carcinogenesis. Their reactivity is well characterized in testicular, but not extragonadal and metastatic, germ cell tumors. A total of 93 germ cell tumors (41 seminoma, 22 embryonal carcinoma, 18 teratoma, and 12 yolk sac tumor) were obtained from the central nervous system (30), mediastinum (23), retroperitoneum/abdomen (31), and other locations (9). Immunohistochemical staining for c-kit, placental-like alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), OCT3/4, and new markers D2-40 and AP-2γ was performed on seminomas; CD30 and epithelial membrane antigen were added for nonseminomas. In embryonal carcinoma, c-kit reacted in 17 of 22 cases, OCT3/4 in 18 of 22, and PLAP in 13 of 22. OCT3/4 was superior to PLAP in intensity and percent cells staining. In seminoma, OCT3/4 and D2-40 were superior to PLAP in intensity and percent cells; c-kit and AP-2γ were superior in percent cells. D2-40 stained 23 of 24 seminomas strongly but had only weak focal reactivity in 6 of 17 embryonal carcinomas. Sensitivity and specificity were high for OCT3/4 discriminating seminoma and embryonal carcinoma, and c-kit discriminating seminoma, from other germ cell tumors. For embryonal carcinoma, OCT3/4 had higher specificity (0.94) than CD30 (0.786) owing to CD30 reactivity in 3 of 10 teratomas. Epithelial membrane antigen discriminated teratoma from other nonseminomas with a sensitivity of 1 but reacted occasionally in embryonal carcinoma (3/15) and yolk sac tumor (2/7). In conclusion, for extragonadal seminoma, OCT3/4, AP-2γ, D2-40, and c-kit were equivalently superior to PLAP. For embryonal carcinoma, OCT3/4 was superior to PLAP and more specific than CD30. D2-40 is recommended to discriminate between seminoma and embryonal carcinoma.
- Germ cell tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine