Rediscovering immunohistochemistry in lung cancer

Anna La Salvia, May Lucie Meyer, Fred R. Hirsch, Keith M. Kerr, Lorenza Landi, Ming Sound Tsao, Federico Cappuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Several observations indicate that protein expression analysis by immunohistochemistry (IHC) remains relevant in individuals with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when considering targeted therapy, as an early step in diagnosis and for therapy selection. Since the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS), the role of IHC in testing for NSCLC biomarkers has been forgotten or ignored. We discuss how protein-level investigations maintain a critical role in defining sensitivity to lung cancer therapies in oncogene- and non-oncogene-addicted cases and in patients eligible for immunotherapy, suggesting that IHC testing should be reconsidered in clinical practice. We also argue how a panel of IHC tests should be considered complementary to NGS and other genomic assays. This is relevant to current clinical diagnostic practice but with potential future roles to optimize the selection of patients for innovative therapies. At the same time, strict validation of antibodies, assays, scoring systems, and intra- and interobserver reproducibility is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104401
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
StatePublished - Aug 2024


  • Diagnostic value
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung cancer
  • Targeted therapies


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