Int J Clin Exp Pathol 1(6):539-543;2008

Case Report
Carcinoid Tumors Arising in Tailgut Cysts May Be Associated with Estrogen Receptor
Status: Case Report and Review of the Literature

John J. Liang, Sadir Alrawi, Gregory N. Fuller and Dongfeng Tan

Department of Pathology, U.T. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030; Department of pathology*, Penn State Hershey Medical
Center, Hershey, PA 17033

Received 17 Sept 2007; accepted and available online 1 January 2008

Abstract: Tailgut cysts are uncommon developmental cysts that form in the presacral space. Complications of tailgut cysts include benign
reactive lesions associated with infection and inflammation, and malignant transformation. Six cases of carcinoid tumor arising in tailgut cysts
have been reported in the medical literature to date. Here we report another case of carcinoid tumor arising in a tailgut cyst. Because six of
seven cases occurred in females, we postulate that these tumors are hormone-associated. This hypothesis is supported by the present study.
We found strong estrogen receptor immunoreactivity of the benign squamous and columnar cyst-lining cells as well as carcinoid tumor cells,
in addition to neuroendocrine differentiation in the tumor cells and scattered cyst-lining cells. We speculate that estrogen receptor may be a
potential therapeutic target in patients with this condition. (IJCEP709009).

Key Words: Carcinoid tumor, tailgut cyst, estrogen receptor

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Address all correspondence to: Dongfeng Tan, M.D., Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Unit 85, The University of Texas M. D.
Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas 77030; phone: (713) 745-4977; fax: (713) 745-1105; Email:
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