Introduction: Despite their histological resemblance to colorectal adenocarcinoma, there is some information about the molecular events involved in the pathogenesis of intestinal-type sinonasal adenocarcinomas (ITACs). To evaluate the possible role of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) gene defects in ITAC, by investigating the immunohistochemical expression of TRAIL gene product in a group of ethmoidal ITACs associated with occupational exposure.
Material and methods: Retrospective study on 23 patients with pathological diagnosis of primary ethmoidal ITAC. Representative formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded block from each case was selected for immunohistochemical studies using the antibody against TRAIL. Clinicopathological data were also correlated with the staining results.
Results: The immunohistochemical examination demonstrated that poorly differentiated cases showed a higher percentage of TRAIL expressing cells compared to well-differentiated cases. No correlation was found with other clinicopathological parameters, including T, stage and relapses.
Conclusion: The relationship between upregulation of TRAIL and poorly differentiated ethmoidal adenocarcinomas suggests that the mutation of this gene, in combination with additional genetic events, could play a role in the pathogenesis of ITAC.