Cervix
Carcinoma
Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC)

Author: Carlos Parra-Herran, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 10 May 2017, last major update May 2017

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma [title] cervix
Cite this page: Cervix - Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixlymphoepithelioma.html. Accessed June 28th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Resembles nasopharyngeal counterpart
  • Usually younger patients than squamous cell carcinoma of cervix
  • In the nasopharynx, lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma is associated with Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection
  • EBV is not directly involved in squamous cell malignant transformation but may have an effect by infecting the inflammatory component
  • An association with HPV infection has also been postulated
  • Tends to be low stage at diagnosis; better outcome compared to conventional squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (Int J Gynecol Pathol 2009;28:279, Cancer 1997;80:91)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Usually exophytic
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Tumor is usually moderately to poorly differentiated and nonkeratinizing
  • Cells are usually loose or arranged in small clusters, have variable amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm and marked nuclear atypia
  • Syncytium of large tumor cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm, vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli
  • Prominent lymphoplasmacytic infiltration predominantly composed of T lymphocytes; the inflammatory component can be very dense and obscure the squamous cell component, in which case cytokeratin stains may be needed
  • Pushing margins
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Syncytial pattern, cells have prominent nucleoli

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H&E and stains

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CD45+ infiltrating lymphocytes

Cytology description
  • Uniform large tumor cells, indistinct cell borders, finely granular scant cytoplasm, round / oval nuclei and prominent nucleoli, marginated chromatin
  • No koilocytes, no gland formation, no keratinization (Acta Cytol 1999;43:285)
Cytology images

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Cohesive aggregates of atypical epithelial cells with background of mature lymphocytes

Positive stains
Negative stains
  • Lymphoid markers (stain infiltrating lymphocytes only), bcl2, ER, PR)
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Differential diagnosis