Publications by authors named "Emily F Thompson"

9 Publications

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Molecular subclassification of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma: reproducibility and prognostic significance of a novel surgical technique.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2022 Aug 1;32(8):977-985. Epub 2022 Aug 1.

Division of Gynecologic Pathology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Objectives: Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma is subclassified into three prognostically relevant groups: (i) human papillomavirus (HPV) associated, (ii) HPV independent p53 abnormal (mutant pattern), and (iii) HPV independent p53 wild type. Immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 serve as surrogates for HPV viral integration and mutational status. We assessed the reproducibility of the subclassification based on p16 and p53 immunohistochemistry and evaluated the prognostic significance of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma molecular subgroups in a patient cohort treated by vulvar field resection surgery.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, 68 cases treated by vulvar field resection were identified from the Leipzig School of Radical Pelvic Surgery. Immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 was performed at three different institutions and evaluated independently by seven pathologists and two trainees. Tumors were classified into one of four groups: HPV associated, HPV independent p53 wild type, HPV independent p53 abnormal, and indeterminate. Selected cases were further interrogated by (HPV RNA in situ hybridization, sequencing).

Results: Final subclassification yielded 22 (32.4%) HPV associated, 41 (60.3%) HPV independent p53 abnormal, and 5 (7.3%) HPV independent p53 wild type tumors. Interobserver agreement (overall Fleiss' kappa statistic) for the four category classification was 0.74. No statistically significant differences in clinical outcomes between HPV associated and HPV independent vulvar squamous cell carcinoma were observed.

Conclusion: Interobserver reproducibility of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma subclassification based on p16 and p53 immunohistochemistry may support routine use in clinical practice. Vulvar field resection surgery showed no significant difference in clinical outcomes when stratified based on HPV status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2021-003251DOI Listing
August 2022

Endometrial carcinoma molecular subtype correlates with the presence of lymph node metastases.

Gynecol Oncol 2022 05 2;165(2):376-384. Epub 2022 Mar 2.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: The role of lymph node assessment/dissection (LND) in endometrial cancer (EC) has been debated for decades, with significant practice variation between centers. Molecular classification of EC provides prognostic information and can be accurately performed on preoperative endometrial biopsies. We assessed the association between molecular subtype and lymph node metastases (LNM) in order to determine if this tool could be used to stratify surgical decision making.

Methods: All EC patients undergoing primary staging surgery with planned complete pelvic +/- para-aortic LND from a single institution in the 2015 calendar year were identified, with clinicopathological and outcome data assessed in the context of retrospectively assigned molecular classification.

Results: 172 patients were included. Molecular classification of the total cohort showed 21 POLEmut (12.2%), 47 MMRd (27.3%), 74 NSMP (43.1%), and 30 p53abn (17.4%) ECs. Complete pelvic +/- para-aortic LND was performed in 171 of 172 patients, and LNM were found in 31/171 (18.1%). This included macrometastases (19/31), micrometastases (5/31), and isolated tumour cells (ITCs) (7/31). LNM were pelvic only in 83.9%, and pelvic plus para-aortic in 16.1%. There were no isolated para-aortic LNM. Molecular subtype was significantly associated with LNM (p = 0.004). There was a strong association between the presence of LNM and p53abn EC (nodal involvement in 44.8% of cases), with LNM detected in 14.2% of POLEmut, 14.9% of MMRd, and 10.8% of NSMP EC. On multivariate analysis, molecular subtype and preoperative CA 125 > 25 were significantly associated with LNM (p = 0.021 and p = 0.022 respectively) but preoperative grade and histotype were not (p = 0.24).

Conclusion: EC molecular subtype is significantly associated with the presence of LNM. As molecular classification can be obtained on preoperative diagnostic specimens, this information can be used to guide surgical treatment planning and may reduce the cost and morbidity of unnecessary lymph node staging in EC care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2022.01.025DOI Listing
May 2022

Variation in practice in endometrial cancer and potential for improved care and equity through molecular classification.

Gynecol Oncol 2022 05 1;165(2):201-214. Epub 2022 Mar 1.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Electronic address:

Objectives: We measured the variation in practice across all aspects of endometrial cancer (EC) management and assessed the potential impact of implementation of molecular classification.

Methods: Centers from across Canada provided representative tumor samples and clinical data, including preoperative workup, operative management, hereditary cancer program (HCP) referrals, adjuvant therapy, surveillance and outcomes, for all EC patients diagnosed in 2016. Tumors were classified into the four ProMisE molecular subtypes.

Results: A total of 1336 fully evaluable EC patients were identified from 10 tertiary cancer centers (TC; n = 1022) and 19 community centers (CC; n = 314). Variation of surgical practice across TCs was profound (14-100%) for lymphadenectomy (LND) (mean 57% Gr1/2, 82% Gr3) and omental sampling (20% Gr1/2, 79% Gr3). Preoperative CT scans were inconsistently obtained (mean 32% Gr1/2, 51% Gr3) and use of adjuvant chemo or chemoRT in high risk EC ranged from 0-55% and 64-100%, respectively. Molecular subtyping was performed retrospectively and identified 6% POLEmut, 28% MMRd, 48% NSMP and 18% p53abn ECs, and was significantly associated with survival. Within patients retrospectively diagnosed with MMRd EC only 22% had been referred to HCP. Of patients with p53abn EC, LND and omental sampling was not performed in 21% and 23% respectively, and 41% received no chemotherapy. Comparison of management in 2016 with current 2020 ESGO/ESTRO/ESP guidelines identified at least 26 and 95 patients that would have been directed to less or more adjuvant therapy, respectively (10% of cohort).

Conclusion: Molecular classification has the potential to mitigate the profound variation in practice demonstrated in current EC care, enabling reproducible risk assessment, guiding treatment and reducing health care disparities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2022.02.001DOI Listing
May 2022

Corded and Hyalinized and Spindled Endometrioid Endometrial Carcinoma: A Clinicopathologic and Molecular Analysis of 9 Tumors Based on the TCGA Classifier.

Am J Surg Pathol 2021 08;45(8):1038-1046

James Homer Wright Pathology Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Corded and hyalinized and spindled carcinomas are rare variants of endometrioid carcinoma (EC) characterized by cords of low-grade epithelial cells (±spindle cells) within a hyalinized stroma or spindled epithelial cells, respectively, that merge with conventional low-grade EC. Due to their "biphasic" morphology, these tumors are often misdiagnosed as carcinosarcoma. The clinicopathologic features including mismatch repair protein (PMS2 and MSH6) and p53 immunohistochemical expression and POLE mutational status of 9 corded and hyalinized and spindled endometrial ECs were evaluated and classified into The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) based molecular subgroups. Beta-catenin immunohistochemistry was performed as a surrogate for CTNNB1 mutational status. The mean age at diagnosis was 49 years (range: 34 to 68 y) with staging information available for 6 patients: stage IA (n=1), stage IB (n=1), stage II (n=2), stage IIIA (n=1), stage IIIC1 (n=1). A prominent corded and hyalinized component was present in 7 ECs comprising 15% to 80% of the tumor with a minor (5% to 15%) spindled morphology in 5. Two additional tumors were composed of a low-grade spindled component comprising 25% to 30% of the neoplasm. Tumors were grade 1 (n=3), grade 2 (n=5), and grade 2 to 3 (n=1) and squamous differentiation was identified in 8/9. All tumors had preserved expression of mismatch repair proteins with 8 showing a p53 wild-type phenotype including the grade 2 to 3 EC; 1 grade 2, stage IB tumor exhibited a mutant pattern of expression. All (n=7) but 1 tumor demonstrated nuclear beta-catenin expression in the glandular, squamous, and corded or spindled components. POLE exonuclease domain mutations were absent in all tumors. Based on our findings, corded and hyalinized EC and EC with spindle cells are usually low grade, low stage, and present at a younger age and exhibit squamous differentiation at an increased frequency compared to typical EC. Unlike carcinosarcomas, which frequently harbor TP53 mutations, these tumors usually exhibit wild-type p53 and nuclear beta-catenin expression, indicative of underlying CTNNB1 mutations. According to the TCGA subgroups of endometrial carcinoma, the majority of corded and hyalinized and spindled EC appear to fall into the copy number low ("no specific molecular profile") subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001737DOI Listing
August 2021

p53abn Endometrial Cancer: understanding the most aggressive endometrial cancers in the era of molecular classification.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2021 06 15;31(6):907-913. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Over the past decade, our understanding of endometrial cancer has changed dramatically from the two-tiered clinicopathologic classification system of type I and type II endometrial cancer through to the four distinct molecular subtypes identified by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) in 2013. In both systems there is a small subset of endometrial cancers (serous histotype/high numbers of somatic copy number abnormalities) that account for a disproportionately high percentage of endometrial cancer related deaths. This subset can be identified in routine clinical practice by first identifying the approximately one-third of endometrial cancers that are either ultramutated/mut tumors, with pathogenic mutations in the exonuclease domain of , or hypermutated/MMRd tumors, with loss of DNA mismatch repair. Immunostaining for p53 stratifies the remaining endometrial cancers into those with wild-type staining pattern and those with mutant pattern staining (p53abn endometrial cancer). This latter group of p53abn endometrial cancer is the subject of this review. Most p53abn endometrial cancers are serous type and high grade, but it also includes other histotypes and lower grade tumors, and has consistently been associated with the poorest clinical outcomes. Although it only accounts for 15% of all endometrial cancer cases, it is responsible for 50-70% of endometrial cancer mortality. A better understanding of the molecular alterations in the p53abn subgroup, beyond the ubiquitous and definitional mutations, is required so we can identify better treatments for these most aggressive endometrial cancers. Recent evidence has shown improved survival outcomes with the addition of chemotherapy compared with radiation alone in p53abn endometrial cancers. Opportunities for targeted therapy for p53abn endometrial cancers also exist with a proportion of p53abn endometrial cancers known to have homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) or human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) overexpression/amplification. This review will provide an overview of our current understanding of p53abn endometrial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2020-002256DOI Listing
June 2021

Endometrial carcinoma: molecular subtypes, precursors and the role of pathology in early diagnosis.

J Pathol 2021 04 6;253(4):355-365. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Vancouver General Hospital and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is classified into a wide range of morphological variants; this list has expanded over the past decade with the inclusion of mesonephric-like and dedifferentiated carcinoma as EC variants in the fifth edition of the WHO Classification of Female Genital Tumours, and recognition that carcinosarcoma is a biphasic carcinoma rather than a sarcoma. Each EC variant has distinct molecular abnormalities, including TCGA-based molecular subtypes, allowing further subclassification and adding complexity. In contrast to this rapid progress in understanding EC, there are only two recognized EC precursor lesions: endometrial atypical hyperplasia/endometrioid intraepithelial neoplasia (EAH/EIN) and serous intraepithelial carcinoma, a situation that has not changed for many years. Diagnosis of EC precursors is a cornerstone of surgical pathology practice, with early diagnosis contributing to the relatively favorable prognosis of EC. In this review we relate the precursor lesions to each of the EC morphological variants and molecular subtypes, discuss how successful early diagnosis is for each variant/molecular subtype and how it might be improved, and identify knowledge gaps where there is insufficient understanding of EC histogenesis. © 2020 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5608DOI Listing
April 2021

Endometrial Cancer Molecular Risk Stratification is Equally Prognostic for Endometrioid Ovarian Carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 10 31;26(20):5400-5410. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Endometrioid ovarian carcinoma (ENOC) is generally associated with a more favorable prognosis compared with other ovarian carcinomas. Nonetheless, current patient treatment continues to follow a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Even though tumor staging offers stratification, personalized treatments remain elusive. As ENOC shares many clinical and molecular features with its endometrial counterpart, we sought to investigate The Cancer Genome Atlas-inspired endometrial carcinoma (EC) molecular subtyping in a cohort of ENOC.

Experimental Design: IHC and mutation biomarkers were used to segregate 511 ENOC tumors into four EC-inspired molecular subtypes: low-risk mutant (POLEmut), moderate-risk mismatch repair deficient (MMRd), high-risk p53 abnormal (p53abn), and moderate-risk with no specific molecular profile (NSMP). Survival analysis with established clinicopathologic and subtype-specific features was performed.

Results: A total of 3.5% of cases were POLEmut, 13.7% MMRd, 9.6% p53abn, and 73.2% NSMP, each showing distinct outcomes ( < 0.001) and survival similar to observations in EC. Median OS was 18.1 years in NSMP, 12.3 years in MMRd, 4.7 years in p53abn, and not reached for POLEmut cases. Subtypes were independent of stage, grade, and residual disease in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: EC-inspired molecular classification provides independent prognostic information in ENOC. Our findings support investigating molecular subtype-specific management recommendations for patients with ENOC; for example, subtypes may provide guidance when fertility-sparing treatment is desired. Similarities between ENOC and EC suggest that patients with ENOC may benefit from management strategies applied to EC and the opportunity to study those in umbrella trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1268DOI Listing
October 2020

Interlaboratory Concordance of ProMisE Molecular Classification of Endometrial Carcinoma Based on Endometrial Biopsy Specimens.

Int J Gynecol Pathol 2020 Nov;39(6):537-545

Molecular classifiers improve the consistency of categorization of endometrial carcinoma and provide valuable prognostic information. We aimed to evaluate the interlaboratory agreement in ProMisE assignment across 3 dedicated Canadian gynecologic oncology centers. Fifty cases of endometrial carcinoma diagnosed on biopsy were collected from 3 centers and 3 unstained sections were provided to each participating site so that immunohistochemistry for MSH6, PMS2, and p53 could be performed and interpreted at each center, blinded to the original diagnoses and the results from other centers. A core was taken for DNA extraction and POLE mutation testing. Overall accuracy and κ statistic were assessed. MSH6, PMS2, and p53 could be assessed for all 50 cases, with agreement for 140/150 results. There was a high level of agreement in molecular classification (κ=0.82), overall. Cases with a discordant result for one of the features used in classification (n=10) were reviewed independently and the most common reason for disagreement was attributable to the weak p53 staining in 1 laboratory (n=4). Interpretive error in PMS2 (n=1) and MSH6 (n=2) assessment accounted for 3 of the remaining disagreements. Interpretive error in the assessment of p53 was identified in 2 cases, with very faint p53 nuclear reactivity being misinterpreted as wild-type staining. These results show strong interlaboratory agreement and the potential for greater agreement if technical and interpretive factors are addressed. Several solutions could improve concordance: central quality control to ensure technical consistency in immunohistochemical staining, education to decrease interpretation errors, and the use of secondary molecular testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PGP.0000000000000654DOI Listing
November 2020

p53 Immunohistochemical patterns in HPV-related neoplasms of the female lower genital tract can be mistaken for TP53 null or missense mutational patterns.

Mod Pathol 2020 09 1;33(9):1649-1659. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

We have recently encountered p53 immunohistochemical (IHC) patterns in human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated carcinomas of the gynecologic tract, which were confused with absent (null) or overexpression TP53 mutational staining. We therefore evaluated p53 and p16 IHC in 25 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) (16 vulva, 4 Bartholin's gland, and 5 cervix), 20 endocervical adenocarcinomas (EDAC), 14 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), 2 adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), all of which exhibited morphologic features of HPV. Only cases showing diffuse/strong block-like p16 staining were included for further study. All EDACs underwent TP53 sequencing and HPV in situ hybridization (ISH) was performed in selected cases. p53 IHC staining fell into two main patterns. The most common was designated as "markedly reduced (null-like)" (absence or significantly attenuated staining in >70% of cells), which could be confused with true null mutational pattern. This was present in 14/25 (56%) SCCs, 7/14 (50%) HSILs, and 18/20 (90%) EDACs. The second notable pattern was "mid-epithelial (basal sparing)" (distinct absence of staining in basal cells juxtaposed with strong staining in parabasal cells), seen in 10/25 (40%) SCC, 7/14 (50%) HSIL, and none of the EDACs. There was scattered weak to moderate p53 staining (conventional wild type) in 1/25 (4%) SCC and 2/20 (10%) EDAC. No cases showed strong/diffuse overexpression. One EDAC had a TP53 missense mutation and exhibited "markedly reduced (null-like)" staining. HPV ISH revealed an inverse relationship with p53, cells positive for HPV mRNA were negative for p53. Knowledge of these patterns can help pathologists avoid misinterpreting p53 status in the setting of HPVA cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-0527-yDOI Listing
September 2020
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