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Fascin expression in endocervical neoplasia: correlation with tumour morphology and growth pattern
  1. Colin J R Stewart,
  2. Maxine Crook,
  3. Sarah Loi
  1. Department of Histopathology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Colin J R Stewart, Department of Histopathology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Bagot Road, Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia 6008, Australia; colin.stewart{at}


Background Fascin is an actin-binding protein that potentiates migratory and invasive behaviour in neoplastic cells and has been shown to be upregulated in various malignancies. In this study fascin expression was assessed in adenocarcinoma in situ (ACIS) and invasive adenocarcinoma of the endocervix, and the results were correlated with tumour growth patterns (papillary, glandular or infiltrative).

Methods Fascin immunoreactivity was assessed in 10 cases of ACIS and in 34 cervical adenocarcinomas, 15 of which also included an in situ component. Staining within normal epithelium and stromal elements was also noted.

Results Normal endocervical epithelium and 23/25 ACIS lesions were fascin-negative. Most invasive tumour elements were also unstained but 13/32 adenocarcinomas that exhibited a glandular growth pattern showed focal fascin immunoreactivity mainly towards the basal aspect of the larger tumour glands. These fascin-positive cells often showed a morphological alteration similar to that seen in infiltrative tumour areas. None of the papillary tumour elements, present in 12 cases, was fascin-positive. Twenty adenocarcinomas included a focal infiltrative component, often distributed at the advancing or deep tumour margin (invasive front), and these tumour cells were usually fascin-positive. Staining was also observed in normal parabasal squamous cells, endothelial and dendritic cells.

Conclusions Novel fascin expression occurs during the development and progression of some endocervical neoplasms. Fascin immunoreactivity within infiltrative neoplastic elements suggests that this protein may have an important role in areas of active tumour invasion.

  • Histopathology
  • gynaecological pathology
  • ovary
  • cytology
  • cytopathology
  • antigen retrieval
  • paediatric pathology
  • cervix
  • immunohistochemistry
  • antigenic epitopes
  • antigen processing

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from King Edward Memorial Hospital research ethics committee.

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