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Immunohistochemical assay for neuron-specific enolase, synaptophysin, and RB-associated protein as a diagnostic aid in advanced retinoblastomas

Authors López López JC, Fernández Alonso N, Cuevas Álvarez J, García-Caballero T, Pastor Jimeno JC

Received 10 May 2017

Accepted for publication 6 December 2017

Published 28 June 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1171—1179

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S141503

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


José Carlos López López,1 Nieves Fernández Alonso,1 Juan Cuevas Álvarez,1,2 Tomás García-Caballero,2 José Carlos Pastor Jimeno3

1Ocular Pathology Laboratory, Instituto Universitario de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (IOBA), University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain; 2Department of Pathology, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; 3Retina Group, Instituto Universitario de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (IOBA), University of Valladolid, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Valladolid, Spain

Purpose: We evaluated the expression of the neural markers, neuron-specific enolase, and synaptophysin, as a tool to confirm the diagnosis of retinoblastoma (RB) in undifferentiated and advanced tumors. Additionally, we determined whether the extent of RB-associated protein (pRb) expression is helpful in assessing the prognosis in RB patients.
Methods: Conventional whole tissue section and tissue microarray immunohistochemistry for neuron-specific enolase, synaptophysin, and pRb were carried out in a series of 22 RBs.
Results: Neuron-specific enolase and synaptophysin were expressed in 75%–100% of the tumor cells, and the staining intensity was strong. Two RBs expressed pRb in 75%–100% of the tumor cells, also with strong staining intensity. Concordance between the immunohistochemical outcomes for whole tissue staining and tissue microarray staining was 76.2% for neuron-specific enolase, 85.7% for synaptophysin, and 80.0% for pRb.
Conclusion: Neuron-specific enolase and synaptophysin have the potential to be useful markers for the diagnosis of RBs. Extensive and strong pRb staining is not associated with less aggressive tumor behavior according to the pathologic classification of RBs.

Keywords: retinoblastoma, immunohistochemistry, neuron-specific enolase, synaptophysin, pRb

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