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Nonsmall Cell Lung Carcinoma with Neuroendocrine Differentiation - An Entity of No Clinical or Prognostic Signficance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 21:15 authored by Ionescu, DN, Treaba, D, Gilks, CB, Leung, S, Renouf, D, Laskin, J, Wood-Baker, R, Gown, AM
The existence of non-small cell lung carcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation as a distinct entity and its relevance for prognostic and treatment purposes is controversial. This study assesses the frequency and biologic and prognostic significance of neuroendocrine (NE) expression of synaptophysin (SNP), chromogranin (Ch), and neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) using tissue microarray (TMA) and immunohistochemistry. Six hundred nine nonsmall cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) were reviewed for subclassification. TMA blocks were made using duplicate 0.6-mm-diameter tissue cores and slides stained with SNP, Ch, and N-CAM. Immunoreactivity was considered if 1% or more of tumor cells were positive. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections were subclassified as: 243 adenocarcinoma (ACA), 272 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 35 large cell carcinoma, 32 non-small cell carcinoma NOS, and 6 other (carcinosarcoma, giant cell carcinoma). Positivity for either marker was identified in 13.6% of NSCLC (76/558). NSCLC showed reactivity for Ch in 0.4% of cases (2/524), for SNP in 7.5% of cases (39/521) and for N-CAM in 8.6% of cases (44/511), whereas only 0.2% of cases (1/517) showed coexpression of SNP and Ch and none of all 3 markers. The assessment of NE differentiation in NSCLC is unnecessary and expensive and is of no clinical or prognostic significance. SNP or N-CAM stains a small minority of NSCLC, whereas Ch immunoreactivity is less common. Positivity for any 2 NE markers is rare. SNP is more likely to be expressed in adenocarcinoma (P=0.01) and N-CAM in squamous-cell carcinoma (P=0.008). Otherwise there was no correlation between immunoreactivity and tumor morphology. Disease specific and overall survival is not influenced by NE differentiation and therefore non-small cell lung carcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation should not be a subclass distinct from the other NSCLC. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Publication title

American Journal of Surgical Pathology








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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