The classification of lung carcinoma: Time to change the morphology-based approach?

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Morphology still remains the cornerstone in lung cancer classification and always has been accompanying pathologists in their daily activity, even though several ancillary techniques have been incorporated over time to improve diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive capabilities in lung cancer. Currently, we are also faced with a global rethinking of lung cancer care, especially once novel therapy strategies have been made available on the basis of the diverse characteristics of tumors. Although morphology still remains a not easily replaceable tool for lung cancer classification, we are now challenged by the need of offering clinicians more detailed subtyping of non-small-cell lung cancer especially in event of limited diagnostic material, poorly differentiated tumors, or unresectable lesions. Close integration of improved morphology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular tests will be able to not only sharpen our diagnostic algorithms and prognostic and predictive potentialities but also get insights into several lung cancer biology issues, such as histogenesis and new classification schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung
  • Molecular tests
  • Non-small-cell carcinoma
  • Small-cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Surgery


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