Prostate gland & seminal vesicles

Acinar / ductal adenocarcinoma

Signet ring cell carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 March 2012

Minor changes: 11 January 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed search: prostatic signet ring cell carcinoma

Komal Arora, M.D.
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Cite this page: Arora K. Signet ring cell carcinoma. website. Accessed November 27th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Similar to traditional adenocarcinoma - hormonal therapy, radiation, surgery
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Solid, acinar, single-line patterns
  • Primarily composed of tumor cells with signet ring cell pattern (at least 25%) due to intracellular accumulation of mucin compressing the nucleus into a crescent shape
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Various images

Positive stains
  • PSA (variable in some studies), AE1/AE3, CAM 5.2, Ki-67 (mean 8%), PAS-diastase, mucicarmine (50%), Alcian blue (60%), α-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase (P504S) and cytokeratin 5/6
Negative stains
  • Bcl2 (rare cells positive), CEA (80%)
Electron microscopy description
  • Intracytoplasmic lumina lined by microvilli
Differential diagnosis
  • Artifactual changes in lymphocytes post-TURP: no classic adenocarcinoma, CD45+, negative for mucin, PSA, PAP (Am J Surg Pathol 1986;10:795)
  • Benign signet ring cell change: no classic adenocarcinoma, negative for mucin, PSA, PAP (Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:1066)
  • GI primary: much more common; no typical prostatic adenocarcinoma, positive GI workup (abdominal CT, colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy); PSA-, PAP-
  • Mucinous carcinoma with signet ring cells: > 25% of tumor is extracellular mucin and < 25% of tumor cells feature signet ring cells
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