High-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: This review presents an update on classification, diagnosis and potentially 'drugable' molecular alterations of small cell carcinoma (SCC) and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung. Recent Findings: The main controversies in the classification of lung neuroendocrine tumors are: whether SCC and LCNEC should remain separated or should be unified into a high-grade category; and what the role is of Ki67 as an adjunct to the classical parameters (mitotic rate and necrosis). Regarding the diagnosis of SCC and LCNEC, in difficult cases it requires the combined evaluation of clinical-radiological data, histological and cytological material and selected immunostains. The prognosis of both tumors remains very poor. Despite the promising identification of potential molecular targets on preclinical studies, including antiangiogenetic drugs and tricyclic antidepressants, at the moment no specific molecular-driven therapy is available. Summary: The field of high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas remains complex in several respects, and studies on molecular targets are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • diagnosis
  • immunohistochemistry
  • large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • molecular biology
  • small cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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