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CD200 expression has been well studied in hematopoietic malignancies; however, CD200 expression has not been well-characterized in neuroendocrine neoplasms. We examined CD200 expression in 391 neuroendocrine neoplasms from various anatomic sites.
Tissue blocks containing pulmonary small cell carcinoma, pulmonary carcinoid, large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, gastrointestinal carcinoid, and Merkel cell carcinoma were evaluated for CD200 expression by immunohistochemistry. A set of nonneuroendocrine carcinomas was stained for comparison.
CD200 was expressed in 87% of the neuroendocrine neoplasms studied, including 60 of 72 (83%) pulmonary small cell carcinomas, 15 of 22 (68%) pulmonary carcinoids, three of four (75%) pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, 125 of 146 (86%) Merkel cell carcinomas, 79 of 83 (95%) gastrointestinal luminal carcinoids, and 56 of 60 (93%) pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Thirty-two of 157 (20%) nonneuroendocrine carcinomas expressed CD200. In gastrointestinal carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, CD200 negativity correlated with higher grade.
CD200 is a relatively sensitive marker of neuroendocrine neoplasms and represents a potential therapeutic target in these difficult-to-treat malignancies.