Other epithelial tumors

Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 May 2017

Minor changes: 18 February 2021

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PubMed Search: Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma [title] cervix

Carlos Parra-Herran, M.D.
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Cite this page: Parra-Herran C. Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixlymphoepithelioma.html. Accessed December 3rd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Resembles nasopharyngeal counterpart
  • Usually younger patients than squamous cell carcinoma of cervix
  • In the nasopharynx, lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma is associated with Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection
  • EBV is not directly involved in squamous cell malignant transformation but may have an effect by infecting the inflammatory component
  • An association with HPV infection has also been postulated
  • Tends to be low stage at diagnosis; better outcome compared to conventional squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (Int J Gynecol Pathol 2009;28:279, Cancer 1997;80:91)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Usually exophytic
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Tumor is usually moderately to poorly differentiated and nonkeratinizing
  • Cells are usually loose or arranged in small clusters, have variable amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm and marked nuclear atypia
  • Syncytium of large tumor cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm, vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli
  • Prominent lymphoplasmacytic infiltration predominantly composed of T lymphocytes; the inflammatory component can be very dense and obscure the squamous cell component, in which case cytokeratin stains may be needed
  • Pushing margins
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Vagina: well circumscribed tumor

Cytology description
  • Uniform large tumor cells, indistinct cell borders, finely granular scant cytoplasm, round / oval nuclei and prominent nucleoli, marginated chromatin
  • No koilocytes, no gland formation, no keratinization (Acta Cytol 1999;43:285)
Positive stains
Negative stains
  • Lymphoid markers (stain infiltrating lymphocytes only), bcl2, ER, PR)
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Differential diagnosis
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