MODERN PATHOLOGY, vol.29, no.10, pp.1243-1253, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
High-grade versions of appendiceal goblet cell carcinoids ('adenocarcinoma ex-goblet cell carcinoids') are poorly characterized. We herein document 77 examples. Tumors occurred predominantly in females (74%), mean age 55 years (29-84), most with disseminated abdominal (77% peritoneal, 58% gynecologic tract involvement) and stage IV (65%) disease. Many presented to gynecologic oncologists, and nine had a working diagnosis of ovarian carcinoma. Metastases to liver (n= 3) and lung (n= 1) were uncommon and none arose in adenomatous lesions. Tumors had various histologic patterns, in variable combinations, most of which were fairly specific, making them recognizable as appendiceal in origin, even at metastatic sites: I: Ordinary goblet cell carcinoid/crypt pattern (rounded, non-luminal acini with well-oriented goblet cells), in variable amounts in all cases. II: Poorly cohesive goblet cell pattern (diffusely infiltrative cords/single files of signet ring-like/goblet cells). III: Poorly cohesive non-mucinous cell (diffuse-infiltrative growth of non-mucinous cells). IV: Microglandular (rosette-like glandular) pattern without goblet cells. V: Mixed 'other' carcinoma foci (including ordinary intestinal/mucinous). VI: goblet cell carcinoid pattern with high-grade morphology (marked nuclear atypia). VII: Solid sheet-like pattern punctuated by goblet cells/microglandular units. Ordinary nested/trabecular ('carcinoid pattern') was very uncommon. In total, 33(52%) died of disease, with median overall survival 38 months and 5-year survival 32%. On multivariate analysis perineural invasion and younger age ( <55) were independently associated with worse outcome while lymph-vascular invasion, stage, and nodal status trended toward, but failed to reach, statistical significance. Worse behavior in younger patients combined with female predilection and ovarian-affinity raise the possibility of hormone-assisted tumor progression. In conclusion, 'adenocarcinoma ex-goblet cell carcinoid' is an appendix-specific, high-grade malignant neoplasm with distinctive morphology that is recognizable at metastatic sites and recapitulates crypt cells (appendiceal crypt cell adenocarcinoma). Unlike intestinal-type adenocarcinoma, it occurs predominantly in women, is disguised as gynecologic malignancy, and spreads along peritoneal surfaces with only rare hematogenous metastasis. It appears to be significantly more aggressive than appendiceal mucinous neoplasms.