Teratocarcinosarcoma of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses: report of 3 cases with assessment for chromosome 12p status

Fadi Salem, Marc K. Rosenblum, Suresh C. Jhanwar, Pushpa Kancherla, Ronald A. Ghossein, Diane L. Carlson

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39 Scopus citations


Sinonasal teratocarcinosarcoma (SNTCS) is a rare malignant neoplasm with 63 reported cases to date. Patients are exclusively adults, with a mean age of 60 years and marked male predominance. Histologically, these tumors are characterized by the presence of admixed epithelial and mesenchymal components. The histogenesis of SNTCS remains uncertain and genetic studies have not been reported to date. Two SNTCSs from the archives of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and one submitted from St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center were evaluated by fluorescent in situ hybridization for amplification of chromosome12p, an event usually associated with the genesis of bona fide germ cell neoplasms (including mediastinal and testicular teratomas). Microscopic examination revealed admixed epithelial and mesenchymal elements in all 3 cases; benign squamous and glandular epithelium and neuroepithelial tissue were identified, the squamous epithelium demonstrating "fetal-like" cytoplasmic clearing. Mesenchymal proliferations were recognized ranging from well-differentiated smooth muscle to high-grade sarcoma. A malignant germ cell component was not identified in any of the cases. Fluorescent in situ hybridization evaluation demonstrated only 2 copies of chromosome 12 per case. Although the histogenesis of SNTCS remains uncertain, we have found an absence of 12p amplification in 3 cases. Our findings suggest that 12p amplification, if it occurs at all in this setting, is exceptional and that SNTCS is a somatic-type neoplasm exhibiting divergent differentiation rather than a germ cell tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-609
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Malignant teratoma
  • Sinonasal neoplasms
  • Teratocarcinosarcoma


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