Pathological characteristics of cervical adenocarcinoma in a multi-center U.S.-based study

Sophia S. Wang, Mark E. Sherman, Steven G. Silverberg, Joseph D. Carreon, James V. Lacey, Richard Zaino, Robert J. Kurman, Allan Hildesheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: Difficulties in detecting cervical adenocarcinoma early are well known. We report a detailed pathology review of cervical adenocarcinoma subtypes, comparing growth patterns and appearance of non-neoplastic epithelium to inform possible clues for disease progression and early detection. Methods: This analysis includes 154 women aged 18-69 years and diagnosed with incident in situ or invasive adenocarcinoma (AC), adenosquamous (AS), or other rare cervical glandular tumors from 1992-1996 in six U.S. medical centers. A pathology review panel evaluated histological features from original diagnostic slides. Results: Higher tumor grade (P < 0.001) and vascular invasion (P = 0.002) were more common in AS compared to AC. Adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) was also more common among AC than AS (P = 0.002). Among AC with cervical intraepithelial carcinoma (CIN), AIS and cribriform patterns were more common than AC without CIN (P = 0.01). Further, non-endometrioid AC had higher tumor grade (P = 0.01) and stromal responses (P = 0.02) than endometrioid AC. Finally, although microglandular hyperplasia is historically thought to be related to oral contraceptive (OC) use, our data do not support this notion. Conclusion(s): AS appears to be either diagnosed later or histologically more aggressive than AC, and among AC subtypes, there are distinct histologic characteristics. Further research is needed to identify precursor lesions for early detection of AC and particularly for AS where AIS may not be a common precursor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Adenosquamous
  • Cervix
  • Histology
  • In situ
  • Pathology
  • Subtype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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