Primary Ureteral Thyroid Transcription Factor 1-Positive Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma

Andrés Martin Acosta*, Farid Saei Hamedani, Joshua James Meeks, Shoujin Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Upper urinary tract neoplasms comprise only 5% of urinary malignancies overall, the overwhelming majority showing an urothelial histology. Nonurothelial lesions represent 1.9% of upper tract neoplasms, and small cell carcinomas (SmCCs) only account for a minute fraction of them, with few cases reported in the literature to date. In the genitourinary tract, these lesions are most frequently found in the urinary bladder, where they tend to show a mixed histology with a characteristic small cell neuroendocrine component that is positive for chromogranin A, synaptophysin, and CD56 immunostains. Urinary SmCCs are almost invariably aggressive, with a propensity to infiltrate surrounding tissues and vascular structures. Unfortunately, clinical stage at presentation is often advanced, with early dissemination to lymph nodes or distant organs in a significant proportion of patients. For the most part, prognosis is dismal and can be predicted by the pathologic stage at diagnosis. Recently, new chemotherapeutic regimens have shown some potential benefit for the treatment of urinary SmCC, albeit not achieving curative results. Here we present the case of a 71-year-old male patient with a history of treated bladder urothelial carcinoma that presented with subacute flank pain and was diagnosed with a primary pure SmCC of the ureter. Besides the usual neuroendocrine immunomarkers, this tumor showed intense positivity for TTF-1 (thyroid transcription factor-1), a phenomenon that has been described for extrapulmonary SmCC of other locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-477
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • TTF-1
  • genitourinary neoplasms
  • neuroendocrine tumor
  • small cell carcinoma
  • upper urinary tract
  • ureter
  • ureteral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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