Three Molecular Subtypes of Gastric Adenocarcinoma Have Distinct Histochemical Features Reflecting Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Status and Neuroendocrine Differentiation.

Speck O, Tang W, Morgan DR, Kuan PF, Meyers MO, Dominguez RL, Martinez E, Gulley ML
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2015 23 (9): 633-45

PMID: 25517873 · PMCID: PMC4469637 · DOI:10.1097/PAI.0000000000000122

Current histopathologic classification schemes for gastric adenocarcinoma have limited clinical utility and are difficult to apply due to tumor heterogeneity. Elucidation of molecular subtypes of gastric cancer may contribute to our understanding of gastric cancer biology and to the development of new molecular markers that may lead to improved diagnosis, therapy, or prognosis. We previously demonstrated that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected gastric cancers have a distinct human gene expression profile compared with uninfected cancers. We now examine the histopathologic features characterizing infected (n=14) and uninfected (n=89) cancers; the latter of which are now further divided into 2 major molecular subtypes based on expression patterns of 93 RNAs. One uninfected gastric cancer subtype was distinguished by upregulation of 3 genes with neuroendocrine (NE) function (CHGA, GAST, and REG4 encoding chromogranin, gastrin, and the secreted peptide REG4 involved in epithelial cell regeneration), implicating hormonal factors in the pathogenesis of a major class of gastric adenocarcinomas. Evidence of NE differentiation (molecular, immunohistochemical, or morphologic) was mutually exclusive of EBV infection. EBV-infected tumors tended to have solid-type morphology with lymphoid stroma. This study reveals novel molecular subtypes of gastric cancer and their associated morphologies that demonstrate divergent NE features.

MeSH Terms (19)

Adenocarcinoma Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine Cell Differentiation Chromogranin A Epithelial Cells Epstein-Barr Virus Infections Gastric Mucosa Gastrins Gene Expression Genetic Heterogeneity Herpesvirus 4, Human Humans Immunohistochemistry In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence Lectins, C-Type Pancreatitis-Associated Proteins Prognosis Stomach Stomach Neoplasms

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