Small cell carcinoma of the prostate: Molecular basis and clinical implications

Lisha Wang, Darrell D. Davidson, Rodolfo Montironi, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Shaobo Zhang, Sean R. Williamson, Gregory T. Maclennan, Chaofu Wang, Mingsheng Wang, Robert E. Emerson, Xiang Du, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Small cell carcinoma of the prostate (PSCC) is a rare and highly aggressive malignancy with a dismal prognosis. Most patients present with advanced disease, including metastases to bone, viscera, and the central nervous system. Histologically, PSCC is indistinguishable from its pulmonary counterpart. Although PSCC may occur in pure form, as in small cell lung carcinoma, it also occurs in conjunction with conventional glandular prostate carcinoma, and may evolve from conventional adenocarcinoma during the course of hormonal therapy. Immunohistochemical staining is extremely helpful in establishing the diagnosis, a prerequisite, as in small cell lung cancer, for optimal therapeutic strategy. Currently, combinations of surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy represent the main treatment options. Improvement in survival may depend upon the identification of new molecular markers to facilitate earlier diagnosis and the development of novel targeted therapies. This review will discuss general aspects of PSCC, focusing on ways in which our understanding of PSCC has been advanced by studies of the histopathologic, immunohistochemical and molecular alterations in this disease. Key words: Prostatic small cell carcinoma, Androgen receptor, TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement, Clonal origin, Carcinogenesis, Differential diagnosis, Molecular cytogenetics

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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    Wang, L., Davidson, D. D., Montironi, R., Lopez-Beltran, A., Zhang, S., Williamson, S. R., Maclennan, G. T., Wang, C., Wang, M., Emerson, R. E., Du, X., & Cheng, L. (2015). Small cell carcinoma of the prostate: Molecular basis and clinical implications. Histology and Histopathology, 30(4), 413-424.