In carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CXPA), pleomorphic adenoma (PA) and diverse carcinoma components showing luminal (ductal) or non-luminal (myoepithelial) differentiation coexist. To elucidate the clinicopathological implications of cellular differentiation in CXPA and the potential role of p53, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), c-erbB-2, c-kit, and glucose transporter 1 (Glut-1) in carcinogenesis, we analyzed 11 CXPAs with luminal differentiation (CXPAs-LD) and 6 CXPAs with non-luminal differentiation (CXPAs-NLD) and compared protein expressions in residual PAs and carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Among the CXPAs-LD, 5 were invasive and 8 were histologically high-grade tumors. The 5-year survival rate was 72.7%. P53, c-erbB-2, VEGF, and Glut-1 were more immunoreactive in carcinoma components than in PAs (P = 0.008, 0.004, 0.002, and 0.024, respectively); c-erbB-2 overexpression was associated with high histological grade (P = 0.024). Carcinoma components frequently lacked c-kit expression (P = 0.009). CXPAs-NLD were all low-grade and invasive with a larger mean tumor size (5.2 cm) than CXPAs-LD (3.3 cm) (P = 0.040). The patients remained disease-free without significant immunohistochemical expression. The immunoprofiles and clinical course of CXPA differed according to cellular differentiation. Therefore, it is important to report the histological subtype and to assess potential biomarkers in diagnostic and therapeutic trials
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