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Pax-5 immunoexpression in various types of benign and malignant tumours: a high-throughput tissue microarray analysis
  1. Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia1,
  2. Rhakee Saxena2,
  3. Shaozeng Zhang1,
  4. Luigi Terracciano3,
  5. Guido Sauter4,
  6. Arundhuti Chadhuri1,
  7. Francois R Herrmann5,
  8. Remedios Penetrante1
  1. 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York, USA
  3. 3Institute of Pathology, Basel University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
  4. 4Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Hamburg, Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  5. 5Department of Rehabilitation and Geriatrics, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor P Mhawech-Fauceglia
 Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Street, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA; pmhawech1{at}


Background: Pax-5 belongs to the Pax gene family transcription factors that play an important role in organogenesis and in B cell ontogeny. It is expressed in B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (B-NHL), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) and neuroendocrine carcinomas. However, its expression in other tumour types is not fully explored.

Aims and methods: To determine Pax-5 expression in other tumour types, immunohistochemistry was performed on 3758 benign and malignant tumours using multiple tumour microarrays, as well as on whole sections.

Results: Pax-5 was expressed in 108/118 (91.5%) B-NHLs, in 60/70 (85.7%) HLs and in 0/7 T cell lymphomas. In addition, Pax-5 was seen in 24/34 (70.6%) Merkel cell carcinomas, 42/53 (79.2%) small cell carcinomas, 1/164 (0.6%) breast carcinomas, 2/204 (1%) endometrial adenocarcinomas and 1/452 (0.2%) urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Conclusion: Despite its expression in a small subset of malignancies of epithelial origin, Pax-5 is still a good and reliable immunomarker in diagnosing B-NHL, HL and neuroendocrine carcinomas.

  • HL, Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • IHC, immunohistochemistry
  • MCC, Merkel cell carcinoma
  • NHL, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • PAX, pair box
  • RT, reverse transcriptase
  • SCC, small cell carcinoma
  • UC, urothelial carcinoma

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  • Published Online First 12 July 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.