Primary ovarian neuroendocrine neoplasms (Ov-NENs) are infrequent and mainly represented by well-differentiated forms (neuroendocrine tumors – NETs – or carcinoids). Poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (Ov-NECs) are exceedingly rare and only few cases have been reported in the literature. A subset of Ov-NECs are admixed with non-neuroendocrine carcinomas, as it occurs in other female genital organs, as well (mostly endometrium and uterine cervix), and may be assimilated to mixed neuroendocrine/non-neuroendocrine neoplasms (MiNENs) described in digestive and extra-digestive sites. Here, we present a case of large cell Ov-NEC admixed with an endometrioid carcinoma of the ovary, arising in the context of ovarian endometriosis, associated with a uterine endometrial atypical hyperplasia (EAH). We performed targeted next-generation sequencing analysis, along with a comprehensive immunohistochemical study and FISH analysis for TP53 locus, separately on the four morphologically distinct lesions (Ov-NEC, endometrioid carcinoma, endometriosis, and EAH). The results of our study identified molecular alterations of cancer-related genes (PIK3CA, CTNNB1, TP53, RB1, ARID1A, and p16), which were present with an increasing gradient from preneoplastic lesions to malignant proliferations, both neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine components. In conclusion, our findings underscored that the two neoplastic components of this Ov-MiNEN share a substantially identical molecular profile and they progress from a preexisting ovarian endometriotic lesion, in a patient with a coexisting preneoplastic proliferation of the endometrium, genotypically and phenotypically related to the ovarian neoplasm. Moreover, this study supports the inclusion of MiNEN in the spectrum ovarian and, possibly, of all gynecological NENs, among which they are currently not classified.© 2021. The Author(s).
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Giovanna De Vecchi