Utility of 10 immunohistochemical markers including novel markers (desmocollin-3, glypican 3, S100A2, S100A7, and Sox-2) for differential diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma from adenocarcinoma of the lung

Koji Tsuta, Yuko Tanabe, Akihiko Yoshida, Fumiaki Takahashi, Akiko M. Maeshima, Hisao Asamura, Hitoshi Tsuda

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Introduction: Recent clinical trials revealed that accurate histologic typing of non-small cell lung cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), is essential. Patients and Methods: We analyzed 10 antibodies expression in 150 SCC cases (53 well-, 51 moderately, and 46 poorly differentiated cases) and 159 adenocarcinoma (AC) cases (49 well-, 52 moderately, and 58 poorly differentiated cases). Results: In all SCC and AC cases, p63 was the most sensitive marker for SCC (98.7%), followed by high-molecular-weight (HM) cytokeratin (CK) (97.3%), CK5/6 (93.3%), Sox2 (80%), thrombomodulin (79.3%), desmocollin-3 (72.7%), S100A7 (70.7%), S100A2 (63.3%), and glypican-3 (46.7%). Desmocollin-3 was the most specific marker for SCC (100%), followed by CK5/6 (98%), Sox2 (95.5%), glypican-3 (92.4%), S100A7 (86.8%), thrombomodulin (79.9%), S100A2 (64.6%), p63 (51.6%), and HMCK (33.3%). Thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) expression was observed in 87.4% of AC cases and 2.0% of SCC cases. When analyzing only poorly differentiated tumors, HMCK was the most sensitive marker for SCC (100%), followed by p63 (97.8%), CK5/6 (87.0%), Sox2 (71.7%), thrombomodulin (58.7%), desmocollin-3 (52.2%), S100A2 (50%), glypican-3 (45.7%), and S100A7 (45.7%). Desmocollin-3 was the most specific marker for poorly differentiated SCC (100%), followed by CK5/6 (98.3%), glypican-3 (94.8%), Sox2 (94.8%), S100A2 (81%), S100A7 (75.9%), thrombomodulin (72.4%), p63 (48.3%), and HMCK (36.8%). The 10-fold crossvalidated classification and regression tree analysis revealed that the combination of CK5/6 and TTF-1 was the best immunohistochemical marker panel for the differentiation between SCC and AC. Conclusion: CK5/6 is the best marker for differentiating SCC and AC, irrespective of the histological grade of the tumor. Thus, the combination of CK5/6 and TTF-1 is the most recommended combination of immunohistochemical markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1199
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul
Externally publishedYes



  • Cytokeratin 5/6
  • Desmocollin-3
  • Lung
  • Sox2
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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