To examine squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) from diverse anatomic sites and invasive urothelial carcinomas (UCs) for expression of the oncofetal antigen glypican 3 (GPC3), the paired box transcription factor PAX8, and the ΔN isoform of p63 (p40).
Immunohistochemistry for GPC3, PAX8, and p40 was performed on whole sections of 107 SCCs from 11 anatomic sites and 49 UCs; evaluation included extent and intensity of staining.
GPC3 was detected in 20% of SCCs and 12% of UCs and PAX8 in 3% of SCCs, limited to the uterine cervix, and 10% of UCs. p40 Was found in 99% of SCCs and 96% of UCs.
GPC3 expression is frequent in SCC/UC, awareness of which should guard against an incorrect diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, while PAX8, limited in distribution, may have some use in suggesting a cervical or urothelial tract origin in a metastatic squamotransitional carcinoma of unknown primary. There is no drop-off in sensitivity for the diagnoses of SCC or UC with ΔNp63-specific immunohistochemistry, and if this performance can be extended to other applications, p40 may supplant the dominant "pan-p63" antibody clone.