Is Immunohistochemical Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Expression Important in the Differential Diagnosis of Adenocarcinomas?


Adenocarcinomas (AC) are the most frequently encountered carcinomas. It may be quite challenging to detect the primary origin when those carcinomas metastasize and the first finding is a metastatic tumor. This study evaluated the role of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) positivity in tumor cells in the subclassification and detection of the original organ of adenocarcinomas. Between 1994 and 2008, 64 sections of normal tissue belonging to ten organs, and 116 cases diagnosed as adenoid cystic carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the salivary gland, lung adenocarcinoma, invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast, adenocarcinoma of stomach, colon, gallbladder, pancreas and prostate, endometrial adenocarcinoma and serous adenocarcinoma and mucinous adenocarcinoma of the ovary, were sent to the laboratory at the Department of Pathology at the Yuzuncu Yil University School of Medicine, where they were stained immunohistochemically, using antibodies against SHBG. The SHBG immunoreactivity in both the tumor cells and normal cells, together with the type, diffuseness and intensity of the staining were then evaluated. In the differential diagnosis of the adenocarcinomas of the organs, including the glandular structures, impressively valuable results are encountered in the tumor cells, whether the SHBG immunopositivity is evaluated alone or together with other IHC markers. Further extensive research with a larger number of cases, including instances of cholangiocarcinoma and cervix uteri AC [which we could not include in the study for technical reasons] should be performed, in order to appropriately evaluate the role of SHBG in the differential diagnosis of AC.