Pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements: A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 75 cases

Giulio Rossi, Alberto Cavazza, Nathalie Sturm, Mario Migaldi, Nicola Facciolongo, Lucia Longo, Antonio Maiorana, Elisabeth Brambilla

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Abstract

We collected 75 primary pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements to better define their clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical profile. The patient's age ranged from 42 to 81 years (mean 65 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 9.7:1. Sixty-nine patients (92%) were smokers. Cough and hemoptysis were the most frequent presenting symptoms. Fifty-nine patients (65%) died of disease: only stage significantly predicts overall survival (p = 0.0273). Microscopically, based on the WHO criteria, 58 cases were classified as pleomorphic carcinoma (51 with an epithelial component, 7 composed exclusively of spindle and giant cells), 10 as spindle cell carcinoma, 3 as giant cell carcinoma, 3 as carcinosarcoma, and 1 as pulmonary blastoma. Immunohistochemically, in the tumors composed exclusively of spindle and/or giant cells, thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and cytokeratin 7 were positive in 55% and 70% of the cases, respectively, whereas surfactant protein-A was always negative. In pleomorphic carcinomas with an epithelial component, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in the sarcomatoid component in 62.7%, 43.1%, and 5.9% of the cases, respectively, whereas they were always negative in the sarcomatous part of carcinosarcomas and blastoma. In the epithelial component of pleomorphic carcinomas, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in 76.4%, 58.8%, and 39.2% of the cases, respectively, whereas the same antibodies did not react with the epithelial component of carcinosarcomas; in the case of blastoma, the epithelial part of the tumor was positive for cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, whereas it was negative for surfactant protein-A. Cytokeratin 20 was always negative. In our opinion, this study: 1) supports the metaplastic histogenetic theory for this group of tumors; 2) shows that cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, but not surfactant protein-A, are useful immunohistochemical markers in this setting; 3) confirms that stage is at the moment the only significant prognostic parameter, as in conventional non-small cell lung carcinomas; and 4) shows that this group of tumors has a worse prognosis than conventional non-small cell lung carcinoma at surgically curable stages I, justifying their segregation as an independent histologic type in the WHO classification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003

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Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A
Keratin-7
Carcinosarcoma
Carcinoma
Lung
Giant Cells
Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
Neoplasms
Pulmonary Blastoma
T Cell Transcription Factor 1
Giant Cell Carcinoma
Keratin-20
Hemoptysis
Cough
thyroid nuclear factor 1
Survival
Antibodies

Keywords

  • Cytokeratins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung
  • Pleomorphic carcinoma
  • TTF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements : A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 75 cases. / Rossi, Giulio; Cavazza, Alberto; Sturm, Nathalie; Migaldi, Mario; Facciolongo, Nicola; Longo, Lucia; Maiorana, Antonio; Brambilla, Elisabeth.

In: American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Vol. 27, No. 3, 01.03.2003, p. 311-324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rossi, Giulio ; Cavazza, Alberto ; Sturm, Nathalie ; Migaldi, Mario ; Facciolongo, Nicola ; Longo, Lucia ; Maiorana, Antonio ; Brambilla, Elisabeth. / Pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements : A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 75 cases. In: American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 2003 ; Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 311-324.
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abstract = "We collected 75 primary pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements to better define their clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical profile. The patient's age ranged from 42 to 81 years (mean 65 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 9.7:1. Sixty-nine patients (92{\%}) were smokers. Cough and hemoptysis were the most frequent presenting symptoms. Fifty-nine patients (65{\%}) died of disease: only stage significantly predicts overall survival (p = 0.0273). Microscopically, based on the WHO criteria, 58 cases were classified as pleomorphic carcinoma (51 with an epithelial component, 7 composed exclusively of spindle and giant cells), 10 as spindle cell carcinoma, 3 as giant cell carcinoma, 3 as carcinosarcoma, and 1 as pulmonary blastoma. Immunohistochemically, in the tumors composed exclusively of spindle and/or giant cells, thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and cytokeratin 7 were positive in 55{\%} and 70{\%} of the cases, respectively, whereas surfactant protein-A was always negative. In pleomorphic carcinomas with an epithelial component, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in the sarcomatoid component in 62.7{\%}, 43.1{\%}, and 5.9{\%} of the cases, respectively, whereas they were always negative in the sarcomatous part of carcinosarcomas and blastoma. In the epithelial component of pleomorphic carcinomas, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in 76.4{\%}, 58.8{\%}, and 39.2{\%} of the cases, respectively, whereas the same antibodies did not react with the epithelial component of carcinosarcomas; in the case of blastoma, the epithelial part of the tumor was positive for cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, whereas it was negative for surfactant protein-A. Cytokeratin 20 was always negative. In our opinion, this study: 1) supports the metaplastic histogenetic theory for this group of tumors; 2) shows that cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, but not surfactant protein-A, are useful immunohistochemical markers in this setting; 3) confirms that stage is at the moment the only significant prognostic parameter, as in conventional non-small cell lung carcinomas; and 4) shows that this group of tumors has a worse prognosis than conventional non-small cell lung carcinoma at surgically curable stages I, justifying their segregation as an independent histologic type in the WHO classification.",
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N2 - We collected 75 primary pulmonary carcinomas with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid, or sarcomatous elements to better define their clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical profile. The patient's age ranged from 42 to 81 years (mean 65 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 9.7:1. Sixty-nine patients (92%) were smokers. Cough and hemoptysis were the most frequent presenting symptoms. Fifty-nine patients (65%) died of disease: only stage significantly predicts overall survival (p = 0.0273). Microscopically, based on the WHO criteria, 58 cases were classified as pleomorphic carcinoma (51 with an epithelial component, 7 composed exclusively of spindle and giant cells), 10 as spindle cell carcinoma, 3 as giant cell carcinoma, 3 as carcinosarcoma, and 1 as pulmonary blastoma. Immunohistochemically, in the tumors composed exclusively of spindle and/or giant cells, thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and cytokeratin 7 were positive in 55% and 70% of the cases, respectively, whereas surfactant protein-A was always negative. In pleomorphic carcinomas with an epithelial component, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in the sarcomatoid component in 62.7%, 43.1%, and 5.9% of the cases, respectively, whereas they were always negative in the sarcomatous part of carcinosarcomas and blastoma. In the epithelial component of pleomorphic carcinomas, cytokeratin 7, TTF-1, and surfactant protein-A were positive in 76.4%, 58.8%, and 39.2% of the cases, respectively, whereas the same antibodies did not react with the epithelial component of carcinosarcomas; in the case of blastoma, the epithelial part of the tumor was positive for cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, whereas it was negative for surfactant protein-A. Cytokeratin 20 was always negative. In our opinion, this study: 1) supports the metaplastic histogenetic theory for this group of tumors; 2) shows that cytokeratin 7 and TTF-1, but not surfactant protein-A, are useful immunohistochemical markers in this setting; 3) confirms that stage is at the moment the only significant prognostic parameter, as in conventional non-small cell lung carcinomas; and 4) shows that this group of tumors has a worse prognosis than conventional non-small cell lung carcinoma at surgically curable stages I, justifying their segregation as an independent histologic type in the WHO classification.

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