Large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumor of the testis: contrasting features of six malignant and six benign tumors and a review of the literature

Am J Surg Pathol. 1997 Nov;21(11):1271-80. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199711000-00002.


We report six malignant and six benign large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumors of the testis and compare the features of malignant and benign cases based on these cases and those in the literature. All the tumors in this report consisted of sheets, nests, solid tubules, and cords of eosinophilic cells, with focal calcifications, as well as a substantial neutrophilic infiltrate in 11 of them. Analysis of our cases and those in the literature showed that the malignant tumors were unilateral and solitary and occurred at a mean age of 39 years (range 28-51 years), whereas the benign neoplasms were bilateral and multifocal in 28% of cases and occurred at a mean age of 17 years (range 2-38 years). Only one malignant tumor occurred in a patient with evidence of a genetic syndrome (Carney syndrome), whereas 36% of benign tumors had various genetic syndromes or endocrine abnormalities. Most of the tumors in the latter cases were bilateral and multifocal. There were strong associations of malignant behavior with size >4 cm, extratesticular growth, gross or microscopic necrosis, high-grade cytologic atypia, vascular space invasion, and mitotic rate greater than three mitoses per 10 high-power fields. All malignant cases exhibited at least two of these features, whereas all benign cases lacked any of them. The presence of any one of these features in a solitary large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumor, especially in a patient >25 years of age, should be viewed as suspicious for malignant behavior, whereas the presence of two or more of these features indicates a strong probability of a malignant course. "Low" percentages (< or =35%) of tumor cells staining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) also may correlate with benign behavior, but some benign tumors have high PCNA values. Ki-67 values (MIB-1 antibody) did not correlate with biologic behavior, nor did immunostains for p53 protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • S100 Proteins / analysis
  • Sertoli Cell Tumor / chemistry
  • Sertoli Cell Tumor / pathology*
  • Sertoli Cell Tumor / ultrastructure
  • Testicular Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / ultrastructure


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • S100 Proteins