The pathogenesis of atypical proliferative Brenner tumor: An immunohistochemical and molecular genetic analysis

Elisabetta Kuhn, Ayse Ayhan, Ie Ming Shih, Jeffrey D. Seidman, Robert J. Kurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brenner tumors are ovarian tumors, usually benign, containing epithelium that resembles transitional epithelium. As with other epithelial tumors there exist frankly malignant tumors and tumors that display greater proliferation than the benign Brenner tumors but lack destructive infiltrative growth, and these have been designated 'atypical proliferative' (borderline) Brenner tumors. There have been no well-documented cases of atypical proliferative Brenner tumors that have exhibited malignant behavior. Based on shared morphologic features it is generally believed that atypical proliferative Brenner tumors develop from benign Brenner tumors. The aim of the present study was to confirm this impression by investigating the immunohistochemical and molecular genetic features of benign and atypical proliferative Brenner tumors. Immunohistochemical staining for p16, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) for CDKN2A (p16-encoding gene) and mutational analysis of the genes commonly mutated in ovarian tumors were performed. p16 immunostaining was positive in the epithelial component of 12 (92%) of 13 benign Brenner tumors, but completely negative in all 7 atypical proliferative Brenner tumors. FISH identified homozygous deletion of CDKN2A in the epithelial component of all atypical proliferative Brenner tumors, but CDKN2A was retained in all benign Brenner tumors. Two PIK3CA somatic mutations were detected in the stromal component in 1 (5%) of 20 Brenner tumors and 3 somatic mutations (1 in KRAS and 2 in PIK3CA) were identified in the atypical epithelial component of 2 (29%) of 7 atypical proliferative Brenner tumors. In summary, our findings suggest that loss of CDKN2A and, to a lesser extent, KRAS and PIK3CA somatic mutations have a role in the progression of a benign to an atypical proliferative Brenner tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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