Vanishing cancer phenomenon
Reviewers: Komal Arora, M.D., (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 26 March 2012, last major update February 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
● Minimal residual cancer at radical prostatectomy
● 3-4% of cases
● Review of initial biopsies in cases with no residual cancer shows either confirmation of cancer, high grade PIN only or mislabeled specimen (Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:174, Am J Surg Pathol 1995;19:1002)
● Recommendations: review needle biopsy and radical prostatectomy, do deeper sections, flip certain paraffin blocks; also stain atypical foci for basal cell markers and AMACR, especially in hormone-treated cases; if a block is missing part of the peripheral zone (capsular incision), this should be commented on; if no cancer found, perform DNA analysis for tissue identity (Virchows Arch 2007;450:371, Am J Surg Pathol 2009;33:120)
● The inability to identify cancer in a prostate removed for biopsy confirmed carcinoma does not indicate technical failure (BJU Int 2004;94:57)
End of Prostate > Prostatic carcinoma > Vanishing cancer phenomenon
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