Clinicopathologic significance of transitional cell carcinoma pattern in nonlocalized ovarian epithelial tumors (stages 2-4)

Michael J. Costa, Christian Hansen, Alexandra Dickerman, Sidney A Scudder

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30 Scopus citations


The transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) pattern has been associated with favorable outcome in patients with late-stage ovarian epithelial tumors who receive chemotherapy. We examined the clinicopathologic significance of TCC and explored other histopathologic prognostic indicators for patients with ovarian epithelial tumor. The surgical records of patients at the University of California at Davis Medical Center who underwent treatment for stages 2 to 4 ovarian epithelial tumor were studied retrospectively; the histopathologic features were correlated with outcome. The TCC pattern was identified in 32 of 136 ovarian epithelial tumors (23.5%): 18 (13.2%) as a predominant (>50%) and 14 (10.3%) as a focal (≤ 50% but > 25%) histologic pattern. The other predominant histopathologic types were serous (65.4%), mucinous (11.7%), endometrioid (3.6%), clear cell (3.6%), and small cell (1.5%) carcinoma. Architectural grade was as follows: low malignant potential, 13 cases; grade 1,34 cases; grade IL 63 cases; grade III 26 cases. Nuclear grade was as follows: low grade, 27 cases; high grade, 109 cases. One hundred seven patients had dominant ovarian tumors, and 29 had diffuse primary peritoneal epithelial tumor. One hundred twenty-three cases (90%) of peritoneal disease were invasive; 11 (10%) were noninvasive. Peritoneal disease histopathologic density was 50% or less cross-sectional involvement in 68 patients (50%) and greater than 50% in 68 (50%). Follow-up data were available for 118 patients: 46 patients had persistent disease that was unresponsive to chemotherapy; 36 of these patients died of disease at 0 to 41 months (mean, 15.6 months; median, 23.5 months). Ten patients were alive at 16 to 40 months (mean, 24.5 months; median, 20.5 months). Thirty-six patients had recurrent disease after 6 to 66 months (mean, 23.5 months; median, 18.5 months); 20 of these patients died of disease after 10 to 69 months (mean, 33.7 months; median, 30 months), and 16 were alive after 12 to 159 months (mean, 33.7 months; median, 30 months). Thirty-six patients had no evidence of disease at 12 to 159 months of follow-up (mean, 49.5 months; median, 31 months). The TCC pattern, either predominant or focal, was not associated with disease status or survival time (P >.05). Predictors of recurrent or persistent disease and survival, respectively, were invasive peritoneal disease (P < .05, P < .0001) and greater than 50% cross-sectional area histologic density of peritoneal disease (P < .01, P < .01). Grade, histologic type, and diffuse primary peritoneal as ovarian location were not predictors of outcome. The TCC pattern was present in at least a focal (> 25%) component in 23% of epithelial tumors; however, this finding did not reach significance as a predictor of outcome in this study. The histologic pattern of the peritoneal disease (invasiveness and density) was a much stronger predictor of disease response and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Carcinoma
  • Clear cell
  • Mucinous
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Peritoneal implants
  • Serous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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