Diagnostic Challenges and Long-term Outcomes of Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix: A Case Series

Kelly Lamiman, Alyeesha B. Wilhelm, Eduardo Eyzaguirre, Gwyn Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) of the cervix are rare, aggressive malignancies that are challenging to diagnose and treat. They are high-grade lesions that often share features with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. NECs are classified into large-cell or small-cell subtypes but can often have a mixed appearance or occur concurrently with a squamous or adenocarcinoma. Diagnosis is dependent on tissue sampling, histomorphology, and immunohistochemistry. Eight cases of NEC were retrieved from the Department of Pathology at our institution from 2008 to 2022. Tumor slides were reviewed and evaluated by 2 independent pathologists. Seven of 8 patients tested positive for neuroendocrine markers, including CD56, synaptophysin, and chromogranin. We discuss the diagnostic challenges, review the histopathology, and describe the treatment courses and clinical outcomes. This case series reveals that traditional markers, such as p16, p63, and p40, may be focally positive in NEC and should not be considered a confirmation of squamous cell carcinoma. Patient outcomes can be affected by delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and inadequate treatment when NEC is not considered in the initial differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervix
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Large cell NEC (LCNEC)
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC)
  • Small cell NEC (SCNEC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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