Thymic neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors are a rare neoplasm of the anterior mediastinum. The tumors frequently exhibit & wide spectrum of histology and appear to follow a more aggressive behavior than their nonthymic counterparts. Given the differing clinicopathologic manifestations, thymic neuroendocrine tumors may also possess different cytogenetic abnormalities from those that occur in foregut carcinoid tumors. In this study, we employed comparative genomic hybridization to detect genomic instability in 10 sporadic thymic neuroendocrine tumors and one multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1)-associated case. Gross chromosomal imbalances were found in nine cases, including gains of chromosomal material on regions X, 8, 18 and 20p and losses on 3, 6, 9q, 13q and 11q. We did not observe deletion at locus 11q13 where the MEN1 gene is located. These findings were essentially dissimilar to those reported in sporadic and MEN1-associated foregut carcinoid tumors. Consequently, we consider that a distinctive cytogenetic mechanism is at work in the development of thymic neuroendocrine tumors, which is different from that of foregut carcinoid tumors.
- Thymic neuroendocrine tumor