Purpose: Penile carcinoma is a rare malignant neoplasm with a largely unknown molecular pathogenesis. Telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (TERT-p) mutations have been detected in several types of human malignancies. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of TERT-p mutations in penile squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and their associations with clinicopathologic features. Methods: In this retrospective study, Sanger sequencing was performed to detect TERT-p mutations in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples from 37 patients with penile SCC, 16 patients with cutaneous SCC, and 4 patients with non-neoplastic penile/skin tissue. The expression of p16INK4a and Ki-67 was investigated via immunohistochemistry. Associations of TERT-p mutation with clinicopathological factors, immunohistochemical results, and clinical outcome were statistically analyzed. Results: Recurrent TERT-p mutations were identified in 18 out of 37 (48.6%) penile SCCs, including all 3 carcinoma in situ cases. TERT-p mutations were significantly more frequent in non-human papilloma virus (HPV)-related penile SCC types than in non-HPV-related penile SCC based on both histologic classification and p16INK4a immunoreactivity. Furthermore, TERT-p mutation was associated with a low histologic grade, low mitotic count, absence of necrosis, low Ki-67/MIB-1 labeling index, and absence of lymph node or distant metastasis. Conclusion: Our study shows TERT-p mutations are the most frequent somatic mutations in penile SCC. In addition, TERT-p mutations are far more frequent in non-HPV-related penile SCC than in HPV-related penile SCC, indicating TERT-p mutations may have a role in tumorigenesis distinct from HPV-related penile SCC.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research