An immunohistochemical analysis of stathmin 1 expression in uterine smooth muscle tumors: differential expression in leiomyosarcomas and leiomyomas.Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(3):2795-801.IJ
The oncogenic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT-mammlian target of rapamycin pathway (PI3K-AKT-mTOR) pathway is known to be activated in uterine smooth muscle tumors, and Stathmin 1 (STMN1) expression has been identified as a marker of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway activation. We hypothesized that STMN1 may have some diagnostic utility and explored how well STMN1 expression correlated with histologic classifications of uterine smooth muscle tumors into benign and malignant groupings. 84 smooth muscle tumors were assessed for STMN1 expression by immunohistochemistry. These included spindle cell leiomyosarcoma (n=32), conventional spindle cell leiomyomas (n=30), atypical (symplastic) leiomyoma (n=5), cellular leiomyoma (n=7), smooth muscle tumor of uncertain malignant potential (n=4), mitotically active leiomyomas (n=2), benign metastasizing leiomyoma (n=3), and cotyledonoid dissecting leiomyoma (n=1). All spindle cell leiomyosarcomas were positive (32/32 positive; 100%) as compared with conventional leiomyomata (11/30; 37%) (P<0.0001). The average immunohistochemical score (0-12+, reflective of intensity and extent) for leiomyosarcomas was 8.7 (±1.43) whereas the conventional leiomyomata average score was 1.6 (±1.07) (P<0.0001). This difference in scores was reflected in the patterns of expression: leiomyosarcomas were predominantly strongly and diffusely positive whereas leiomyomata were predominantly weakly, albeit diffusely positive when expression was present. The sensitivity of STMN1 expression for leiomyosarcomas was 100%. However, the specificity was found to be only 55% (CI=43-68%). The negative and positive predictive values for leiomyosarcomas were 100% and 52% respectively. The odds ratio (OR) for any STMN1 expression in predicting a spindle cell leiomyosarcoma diagnosis from this dataset was highly significant (OR=144, P=0.0006). Thirteen non-smooth muscle tumors that involved the uterus all showed at least focal STMN1 immunoreactivity. In summary, STMN1 is a highly sensitive marker for leiomyosarcoma but is suboptimally specific for diagnostic purposes. The 100% negative predictive value for leiomyosarcoma may offer some diagnostic utility in a small sample, since the absence of STMN1 immunoreactivity in a putative leiomyosarcoma is a strong argument against this diagnostic possibility.