Best Practices Recommendations for Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry in Lung Cancer

Yasushi Yatabe, Sanja Dacic, Alain C. Borczuk, Arne Warth, Prudence A. Russell, Sylvie Lantuejoul, Mary Beth Beasley, Erik Thunnissen, Giuseppe Pelosi, Natasha Rekhtman, Lukas Bubendorf, Mari Mino-Kenudson, Akihiko Yoshida, Kim R. Geisinger, Masayuki Noguchi, Lucian R. Chirieac, Johan Bolting, Jin Haeng Chung, Teh Ying Chou, Gang ChenClaudia Poleri, Fernando Lopez-Rios, Mauro Papotti, Lynette M. Sholl, Anja C. Roden, William D. Travis, Fred R. Hirsch, Keith M. Kerr, Ming Sound Tsao, Andrew G. Nicholson, Ignacio Wistuba, Andre L. Moreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Since the 2015 WHO classification was introduced into clinical practice, immunohistochemistry (IHC) has figured prominently in lung cancer diagnosis. In addition to distinction of small cell versus non–small cell carcinoma, patients’ treatment of choice is directly linked to histologic subtypes of non–small cell carcinoma, which pertains to IHC results, particularly for poorly differentiated tumors. The use of IHC has improved diagnostic accuracy in the classification of lung carcinoma, but the interpretation of IHC results remains challenging in some instances. Also, pathologists must be aware of many interpretation pitfalls, and the use of IHC should be efficient to spare the tissue for molecular testing. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Pathology Committee received questions on practical application and interpretation of IHC in lung cancer diagnosis. After discussions in several International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Pathology Committee meetings, the issues and caveats were summarized in terms of 11 key questions covering common and important diagnostic situations in a daily clinical practice with some relevant challenging queries. The questions cover topics such as the best IHC markers for distinguishing NSCLC subtypes, differences in thyroid transcription factor 1 clones, and the utility of IHC in diagnosing uncommon subtypes of lung cancer and distinguishing primary from metastatic tumors. This article provides answers and explanations for the key questions about the use of IHC in diagnosis of lung carcinoma, representing viewpoints of experts in thoracic pathology that should assist the community in the appropriate use of IHC in diagnostic pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-407
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung cancer
  • Neuroendocrine markers
  • TTF1
  • p40


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