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Micrograph showing a carcinosarcoma. H&E stain.

Carcinosarcoma is a tumour with a malignant epithelial component (carcinoma) and a malignant mesenchymal component (sarcoma), based on the histomorphology.

They can arise in a number of sites:

Relation of carcinosarcoma to metaplastic carcinoma and sarcomatoid carcinoma

Carcinosarcoma implies that the tumour arose from mesenchymal cells and epithelial cells simultaneously.

This is in contradistinction to:

  1. Sarcomatoid carcinoma - implies the tumour arose from epithelial cells only and is sarcoma-like (morphologically), and
  2. Metaplastic carcinoma - implies the tumour arose from epithelial cells that had undergone a (morphologic) transformation (metaplasia).

Uterine carcinosarcomas are generally considered metaplastic carcinomas.[1][2] They typically metastasize as carcinomas,[3] and putatively arise from epithelial cells (only).

The term carcinosarcoma is from the morphologic era of pathology;[citation needed] it precedes the modern battery of molecular tests and immunohistochemistry.

See also


  1. Cantrell, LA.; Blank, SV.; Duska, LR. (Jun 2015). "Uterine carcinosarcoma: A review of the literature.". Gynecol Oncol 137 (3): 581-588. doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.03.041. PMID 25805398.
  2. Artioli, G.; Wabersich, J.; Ludwig, K.; Gardiman, MP.; Borgato, L.; Garbin, F. (Apr 2015). "Rare uterine cancer: carcinosarcomas. Review from histology to treatment.". Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 94 (1): 98-104. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2014.10.013. PMID 25468677.
  3. Lopez-Garcia, MA.; Palacios, J. (Nov 2010). "Pathologic and molecular features of uterine carcinosarcomas.". Semin Diagn Pathol 27 (4): 274-86. PMID 21309261.