Introduction: To highlight the role of immunohistochemistry to lung cancer classification on the basis of existing guidelines and future perspectives. Areas covered: Four orienting key-issues were structured according to an extensive review on the English literature: a) cancer subtyping; b) best biomarkers and rules to follow; c) negative and positive profiling; d) suggestions towards an evidence-based proposal for lung cancer subtyping. A sparing material approach based on a limited number of specific markers is highly desirable. It includes p40 for squamous cell carcinoma (‘no p40, no squamous’), TTF1 for adenocarcinoma, synaptophysin for neuroendocrine tumors and vimentin for sarcomatoid carcinoma. A close relationship between genotype and phenotype also supports a diagnostic role for negative profiles. Expert commentary: Highly specific and sensitive IHC markers according to positive and negative diagnostic algorithms seem appropriate for individual patients’ lung cancer subtyping.
- non-small cell lung cancer
- small cell lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health