Value of Islet 1 and PAX8 in identifying metastatic neuroendocrine tumors of pancreatic origin

Academic Article


  • Neuroendocrine tumors can present as liver metastases before discovery of the primary tumor. Islet 1 and PAX8 have recently been proposed as markers for neuroendocrine tumors of pancreatic origin. In this study, we compared the utility of Islet 1 and PAX8 in distinguishing pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors from neuroendocrine tumors of other sites and determined the usefulness of an immunohistochemical panel, including TTF1, CDX2, Islet 1 and/or PAX8, in identifying metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. A total of 110 primary neuroendocrine tumors (33 pancreatic, 31 pulmonary, 23 ileal, 14 rectal, and 9 gastric) and 73 metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (28 pancreatic, 5 pulmonary, 37 ileal, 1 rectal, 1 colonic, and 1 duodenal) were studied. Islet 1 and PAX8 were positive in 27/33 (82%) and 29/33 (88%), respectively, of primary pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and in 19/28 (68%) and 15/28 (54%), respectively, of metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. No cases of primary (0/23) or metastatic (0/37) ileal neuroendocrine tumors were positive with either Islet 1 or PAX8. There was Islet 1 positivity in 2/31 (6%) primary pulmonary, 12/14 (86%) primary rectal, and 1/1 metastatic rectal neuroendocrine tumors, and PAX8 positivity in 7/31 (23%) primary pulmonary, 11/14 (79%) primary rectal, and 2/9 (22%) primary gastric neuroendocrine tumors. ROC curve analysis incorporating sensitivity and specificity data of immunohistochemical panels for metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors showed that a four-stain panel, including Islet 1, PAX8, TTF1, and CDX2 significantly outperformed a three-stain panel composed of PAX8, TTF1, and CDX2 (P=0.019), and also showed a trend for better performance compared with a three-stain panel composed of Islet 1, TTF1, and CDX2 (P=0.072). Both Islet 1 and PAX8 are reliable immunohistochemical markers for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and would be useful adjuncts to other markers (TTF1, CDX2) currently used to work up a metastatic neuroendocrine tumor of unknown primary. © 2012 USCAP, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Modern Pathology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Koo J; Mertens RB; Mirocha JM; Wang HL; Dhall D
  • Start Page

  • 893
  • End Page

  • 901
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 6