Mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma (MANEC) of the gallbladder: a possible stem cell tumor?

Pathol Int. 2011 Oct;61(10):608-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.2011.02709.x. Epub 2011 Aug 16.


A 48 year-old African American woman presented to her physician complaining of a rapidly evolving epigastric and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. A PET-CT of the abdomen and pelvis demonstrated hypermetabolic, polypoid masses within the gallbladder and several tumors in the left lobe of the liver for which she underwent diagnostic laparoscopy. The gallbladder revealed a 3.5 × 3.3 × 2.4 tan-brown exophytic mass located at the fundus and growing into the lumen with multiple contiguous papillary projections arising from the mucosal surface. A concurrent large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma and papillary adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder was revealed histologically. There was shared reactivity to antibodies directed against the distinct antigens for each morphological component with transitional tumor cells (of both histological components) located at the areas where the two tumor types merged, revealing common immunoreactivity for carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen 19-9, keratin 19, c-kit (cluster of differentiation protein 117 (CD117)) and epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Ultrastructurally, individual cells were demonstrated to have overlapping features of neuroendocrine and glandular differentiation. The aforementioned histological, ultrastructural and immunohistochemical profile is strongly suggestive of a biphenotypic stem/progenitor cell tumor of the gallbladder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / secondary
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / secondary
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / pathology
  • Gallbladder / surgery
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / secondary
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Biomarkers, Tumor