International surveys find HPV-negativity in up to 30% of cervical adenocarcinomas. We investigated the pathological diagnosis by expert consensus with immunohistochemistry and the presence of somatic mutations in recognised tumour genes in HPV-positive and negative cervical adenocarcinomas (CADC). A sample was selected of 45 paraffin-embedded cervical blocks diagnosed locally as usual cervical adenocarcinoma from a global study. These represented different diagnoses made at previous diagnostic review and HPV status. All were suitable for analysis for somatic tumour associated gene mutations. Three pathologists examined H/E slides and immunohistochemistry for p16, progesterone receptor and p53 and classified the cases. L1 genes from high-risk HPVs and low-risk HPVs were analysed by SPF10 PCR-DEIALiPA25 version 1 in whole tissue sections and microdissected tumour and retested by PCR for E6/E7 genes of hrHPVs if negative. Cases were analysed for microsatellite instability and next-generation sequencing mutation analysis. From the 45 cases, 20 cases of usual CADC were confirmed of which 17 (85%) were HPV-positive in tumour cells. The other 25 cases were reclassified as endometrial, serous, clear-cell and gastric-type adenocarcinomas and all were HPV-negative in tumour cells. Careful retesting for HPV DNA and IHC leads to more accurate identification of HPV-positive usual cervical adenocarcinomas. Endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinomas, other uterine adenocarcinoma with multiple somatic mutations were important in misclassification of HPV-negative cases locally managed as cervical adenocarcinoma, as was gastric-type adenocarcinoma with germline STK11 mutation in East Asia. Few consensuses confirmed HPV-negative usual cervical adenocarcinomas showed somatic tumorigenic mutations also seen in some HPV-positive usual CADC.

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International Journal of Cancer
Department of Pathology

Jenkins, D, Molijn, A., Kazem, S., Pirog, E.C., Alemany, L., de Sanjosé, S., … Quint, W. (2020). Molecular and pathological basis of HPV-negative cervical adenocarcinoma seen in a global study. International Journal of Cancer, 147(9), 2526–2536. doi:10.1002/ijc.33124