38. Anaplastic carcinoma (brain metastasis)

Page created on November 22, 2018. Last updated on January 17, 2019 at 17:16

Staining: HE

Organ: Brain


We can see four sections. Two of them are necrotic debris where no cell structure is seen, only a soup of necrotic cells with few visible nuclei.

One of the sections shows normal brain parenchyme, where we can see neurons, glial cells, the arachnoid mater and pia mater.

The last section is the one of most interest. Here we can see cells with no organization, but they show significant pleomorphism (anisocytosis, anisonucleosis, anisochromasia), we can see mitotic figures and giant cells.

Diagnosis: Anaplastic brain carcinoma


  • Unknown


The tumor in this case is a carcinoma, meaning that it is a malignant tumor of epithelial cells. However, these cells bear no characteristics of normal epithelial cells (they don’t produce keratin), which means that they are non-differentiated. A non-differentiated malignant tumor is called an anaplasia or anaplastic tumor.

Comparing the cancer cells in this slide to the cancer cells in slide 36, you can see that the cancer cells here show more pleomorphism, which also shows that these cancer cells are non-differentiated.

The large necrotic segments are necrotic parts of the tumor.

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4 thoughts on “38. Anaplastic carcinoma (brain metastasis)”

  1. Hey there. First I have to thank you and your girlfriend for your awesome work. The structure, the pictures, its just awesome. You make Pathology more fun.

    You May like to know , Ivett told the germans that this carzinoma is an Brain metastase out of the Prostate. (PSA+)

    1. Hey! I’m glad you like our work!

      Regarding the type of the tumor, it’s not the first time teachers at the patho department disagree. It doesn’t matter too much anyway; there’s no way for us to see that this tumor was PSA positive from the slide.

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