Cytokeratin 19 expression in primary thoracic tumors and lymph node metastases

Kyohei Masai, Kazuo Nakagawa, Akihiko Yoshida, Hiroyuki Sakurai, Shun ichi Watanabe, Hisao Asamura, Koji Tsuta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The use of one-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA), which allows for the rapid intraoperative detection of lymph node (LN) metastasis, is becoming more widely accepted in breast cancer. To provide basic data for the development of this method for lung tumors, we conducted a large-scale investigation of cytokeratin (CK) 19 expression in thoracic tumors. Patients and methods: We examined CK19 expression in specimens from a total of 801 surgically resected samples of primary lung adenocarcinoma (ADC), squamous cell carcinoma (SQC), large-cell carcinoma (LCC), pleomorphic carcinoma (PC), large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC), small cell carcinoma (SCC), and carcinoid tumor (CT) as well as pleural malignant mesothelioma and lung metastatic deposits from breast cancer using tissue microarrays (TMAs) and whole sections. We also compared the CK19 expression status between primary sites and LN metastatic deposits. Results: The overall rate of CK19 expression as observed on TMAs and whole sections in the 801 analyzed cases was 88.0%. CK19 expression was detected in 94.6% of ADCs, 93.6% of SQCs, 54.5% of LCCs, 54.8% of PCs, 77.4% of LCNECs, 31.8% of SCCs, 34.0% of CTs, and 92.9% of malignant mesotheliomas. Expression of CK19 was also detected in 90.9% of lung metastatic deposits from breast carcinomas. CK19 expression was maintained between CK19-positive primary sites and the corresponding LN metastatic deposits. Of note, a portion of CK19-negative primary tumors showed upregulation of CK19 protein expression in LN metastases. Conclusions: Most thoracic tumors, except for PCs, CTs, and SCCs, were positive for CK19. We also found that CK19 expression was maintained between CK19-positive primary tumors and the corresponding LN metastatic deposits. These results may be useful in the development of the OSNA method for the intraoperative detection of LN metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes



  • CK19
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • LN
  • Lung
  • OSNA
  • TMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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