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A clinicopathological aspect of primary small-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a single-centre study of 25 cases
  1. Jun-Dong Li1,2,
  2. Yuan Zhuang3,
  3. Yan-Fang Li1,2,
  4. Yan-Ling Feng1,2,
  5. Jin-Hui Hou1,4,
  6. Liang Chen1,5,
  7. An-Na Zhu1,2,
  8. Qiu-liang Wu1,4,
  9. Jing-Ping Yun1,4
  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China
  2. 2Gynecological Surgery, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China
  3. 3Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, Guangdong, PR China
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China
  5. 5Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Laboratory, Jinan, Shan Dong, PR China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jing-Ping Yun, Department of Pathology, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, No 651, East Dongfeng Road, Guangzhou 510060, PR China; yunjp{at}


Aims Small-cell carcinoma is a variant of poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma. Primary small-cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCCC) is recognised as a rare and aggressive malignant tumour with poor prognosis. In this study, the authors report 25 Chinese cases of SCCC, with a particular focus on their clinical and pathological characteristics.

Material and methods The records of 25 patients from 4075 Chinese patients with cervical cancer were collected and reviewed, including the patients' age, initial symptoms, cervical tumour size, International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics clinical stage, lymph-node metastasis, treatments and follow-up results. Immunohistochemical detection was performed for cytokeratin, epithelial membrane antigen, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), synaptophysin (Syn), chromogranin A (CgA), neuronal cell adhesion molecules (CD56), thyroid transcriptional factor-1 and S100 protein (S100).

Results The median age of 25 patients with SCCC was 43.7 years. The most common symptom was abnormal vaginal bleeding. Histologically, there were 19 ‘homogenous’ SCCC samples and six samples of SCCC mixed with adenocarcinoma. The proportion of SCCC samples with positive immunoreactivity were 100.0% for NSE, 96.0% for Syn, 68.0% for CD56, 76.0% for CgA, 40.0% for thyroid transcriptional factor-1, 84.0% for epithelial membrane antigen, 68.0% for cytokeratin and 8.0% for S100, respectively. Every patient received one to three types of treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The median survival time of patients was 20.9 months after diagnosis.

Conclusion The higher proportion of positive labelling of Syn, CD56, CgA, and NSE in SCCC implicated that they are valuably applied in a differential diagnosis of the malignancy. The patients with SCCC receive one to three types of therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and have a poor prognosis.

  • Gynaecological pathology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • tamoxifen
  • histopathology
  • gastroenterology
  • cancer
  • cancer research

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  • J-DL and YZ contributed equally.

  • Funding The study was supported in part by the grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 30973506).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.