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      Approaches to Tumor Classification in Pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma

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          Abstract

          Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma (PSC) is a heterogeneous category of primary lung cancer accounting from 0.3% to 3% of all primary lung malignancies. According to the most recent 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) classification, PSC includes several different variants of malignant epithelial tumors (carcinomas) histologically mimicking sarcomas showing or entirely lacking a conventional component of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Thus, this rare subheading of lung neoplasms includes pleomorphic carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, giant cell carcinoma, pulmonary blastoma, and carcinosarcoma. A diagnosis of PSC may be suspected on small biopsy or cytology, but commonly requires a surgical resection to reach a conclusive definition. The majority of patients with PSC consists of elderly, smoking men with a large, peripheral mass characterized by well-defined margins. However, presentation with a central, polypoid endobronchial lesion is well-documented, particularly in pleomorphic carcinoma and carcinosarcoma showing a squamous cell carcinoma component. As expected, PSC may pose diagnostic problems and immunohistochemistry is largely used when pathologists deal these tumors in routine practice. Indeed, PSC tends to overexpress molecules associated with the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, such as vimentin, but the panel of immunostains also includes epithelial markers (cytokeratins, EMA), TTF-1, p40 and negative markers (e.g., melanocytic, mesothelial and sarcoma-related primary antibodies). Although rare, PSC has increased their interest among oncologist community for different reasons: a. identification of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal phenomenon as a major mechanism of secondary resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors; b. over-expression of PD-L1 and effective treatment with immunotherapy; c. identification of c-MET exon 14 skipping mutation representing an effective target to crizotinib and other specific inhibitors. In this review, the feasibility of the diagnosis of PSC, its differential diagnosis and novel molecular findings characterizing this group of lung tumor are discussed.

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          Most cited references103

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          MET Exon 14 Mutations in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Are Associated With Advanced Age and Stage-Dependent MET Genomic Amplification and c-Met Overexpression.

          Non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) harboring mutations in MET exon 14 and its flanking introns may respond to c-Met inhibitors. We sought to describe the clinical, pathologic, and genomic characteristics of patients with cancer with MET exon 14 mutations.
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            Activity of crizotinib (PF02341066), a dual mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, in a non-small cell lung cancer patient with de novo MET amplification.

            Crizotinib is a dual MET and ALK inhibitor. Currently, clinical development of crizotinib is focused primarily on ALK rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here we report an NSCLC patient with de novo MET amplification but no ALK rearrangement who achieved a rapid and durable response to crizotinib indicating is also a bona fide MET inhibitor.
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              p40 (ΔNp63) is superior to p63 for the diagnosis of pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma.

              Immunohistochemistry has recently emerged as a powerful ancillary tool for differentiating lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma-a distinction with important therapeutic implications. Although the most frequently recommended squamous marker p63 is extremely sensitive, it suffers from low specificity due to its reactivity in a substantial proportion of lung adenocarcinomas and other tumor types, particularly lymphomas. p40 is a relatively unknown antibody that recognizes ΔNp63-a p63 isoform suggested to be highly specific for squamous/basal cells. Here we compared the standard p63 antibody (4A4) and p40 in a series of 470 tumors from the archives of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, which included lung squamous cell carcinomas (n=81), adenocarcinomas (n=237), and large cell lymphomas (n=152). The p63 was positive in 100% of squamous cell carcinomas, 31% of adenocarcinomas, and 54% of large cell lymphomas (sensitivity 100%, specificity 60%). In contrast, although p40 was also positive in 100% of squamous cell carcinomas, only 3% of adenocarcinomas, and none of large cell lymphomas had p40 labeling (sensitivity 100%, specificity 98%). The mean percentage of p63 versus p40-immunoreactive cells in squamous cell carcinomas was equivalent (97 vs 96%, respectively, P=0.73). Rare adenocarcinomas with p40 labeling had reactivity in no more than 5% of tumor cells, whereas the mean (range) of p63-positive cells in adenocarcinomas and lymphomas was 26% (1-90%) and 48% (2-100%), respectively. In summary, p40 is equivalent to p63 in sensitivity for squamous cell carcinoma, but it is markedly superior to p63 in specificity, which eliminates a potential pitfall of misinterpreting a p63-positive adenocarcinoma or unsuspected lymphoma as squamous cell carcinoma. These findings strongly support the routine use of p40 in place of p63 for the diagnosis of pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lung Cancer (Auckl)
                Lung Cancer (Auckl)
                LCTT
                lctt
                Lung Cancer: Targets and Therapy
                Dove
                1179-2728
                05 December 2019
                2019
                : 10
                : 131-149
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Operative Unit of Pathologic Anatomy, Azienda USL della Romagna, Hospital S. Maria delle Croci , Ravenna, Italy
                [2 ]Laboratory of Translational Research, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale - IRCCS Reggio Emilia , Reggio Emilia 42123, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Giulio Rossi Operative Unit of Pathologic Anatomy, Azienda USL della Romagna, Hospital S. Maria delle Croci , Viale Randi 5, Ravenna48121, ItalyTel +39 0544 285368Fax +39 0544 285758 Email giurossi68@gmail.com
                Article
                186779
                10.2147/LCTT.S186779
                6901065
                f16083ef-45ba-4b6a-bfdc-7b1029c1c713
                © 2019 Baldovini et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 3, References: 136, Pages: 19
                Categories
                Review

                sarcomatoid,carcinoma,c-met,pd-l1,cytokeratins,immunohistochemistry,who

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