Small cell carcinoma of the lung and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma interobserver variability.
ABSTRACT To test the hypothesis that the published morphological criteria permit reliable segregation of small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCLC) and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) cases by determining the interobserver variation.
One hundred and seventy cases of SCLC, LCNEC and cases diagnosed as neuroendocrine lung carcinoma before LCNEC had been established as a diagnostic category were retrieved from the archives of the assessor's institutes. A representative haematoxylin and eosin section from each case was selected for review. Batches of cases were circulated among nine pathologists with a special interest in pulmonary pathology. Participants were asked to classify the cases histologically according to the 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. The diagnoses were collected and kappa values calculated. Unanimity of diagnosis was achieved for only 20 cases; a majority diagnosis was reached for 115 cases. In 35 cases no consensus diagnosis could be reached. There was striking variability amongst assessors in diagnosing SCLC and LCNEC. The overall level of agreement for all cases included in this study was fair (kappa=0.40).
Using non-preselected cases, the morphological WHO criteria for diagnosing SCLC and LCNEC leave room for subjective pathological interpretation, which results in imprecise categorization of SCLC and LCNEC cases.
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ABSTRACT: Lung neuroendocrine tumors are catalogued in four categories by the World Health Organization (WHO 2004) classification. Its reproducibility and prognostic efficacy was disputed. The WHO 2010 classification of digestive neuroendocrine neoplasms is based on Ki67 proliferation assessment and proved prognostically effective. This study aims at comparing these two classifications and at defining a prognostic grading system for lung neuroendocrine tumors. The study included 399 patients who underwent surgery and with at least 1 year follow-up between 1989 and 2011. Data on 21 variables were collected, and performance of grading systems and their components was compared by Cox regression and multivariable analyses. All statistical tests were two-sided. At Cox analysis, WHO 2004 stratified patients into three major groups with statistically significant survival difference (typical carcinoid vs atypical carcinoid (AC), P=0.021; AC vs large-cell/small-cell lung neuroendocrine carcinomas, P<0.001). Optimal discrimination in three groups was observed by Ki67% (Ki67% cutoffs: G1 <4, G2 4-<25, G3 ≥25; G1 vs G2, P=0.021; and G2 vs G3, P≤0.001), mitotic count (G1 ≤2, G2 >2-47, G3 >47; G1 vs G2, P≤0.001; and G2 vs G3, P≤0.001), and presence of necrosis (G1 absent, G2 <10% of sample, G3 >10% of sample; G1 vs G2, P≤0.001; and G2 vs G3, P≤0.001) at uni and multivariable analyses. The combination of these three variables resulted in a simple and effective grading system. A three-tiers grading system based on Ki67 index, mitotic count, and necrosis with cutoffs specifically generated for lung neuroendocrine tumors is prognostically effective and accurate.Endocrine Related Cancer 01/2014; 21(1):1-16. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Classification of lung neuroendocrine (NE) tumors is a step-wise process with four tumor categories being identified by morphology, namely typical carcinoid (TC), atypical carcinoid, large-cell NE carcinoma, and small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). Ki-67 antigen or protein (henceforth simply Ki-67) has been largely studied in these tumors, but the clinical implications are so far not clear. A well-defined role has regarded the diagnostic use in the separation of TC and AC from SCLC in nonsurgical specimens, with monoclonal antibody MIB-1 resulting in the most used reagent after antigen retrieval procedures. Uncertainties, however, have arisen in its assessment, usually expressed as Ki-67 labeling index, because of some variability in obtaining either value of the fraction. A diagnostic role is currently lacking, even though there are significant differences in most cases between TC and AC, less so between large-cell NE carcinoma and SCLC. In addition, the prognostic role of Ki-67 is debated, likely due to methodological and biological reasons. The last challenge would be to identify an effective lung-specific grading system based on Ki-67 labeling index. In this review article, five relevant issues to Ki-67 have been addressed by using a question-answer methodology, with relevant key points discussing major interpretation issues. The conclusion is that Ki-67 is a feasible and potentially meaningful marker in lung NE tumors, but more data are needed to determine its ideal function in this setting of tumors.Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 03/2014; 9(3):273-84. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Currently, grading in lung neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is inherently defined by the histological classification based on cell features, mitosis count, and necrosis, for which typical carcinoids (TC) are low-grade malignant tumors with long life expectation, atypical carcinoids (AC) intermediate-grade malignant tumors with more aggressive clinical behavior, and large cell NE carcinomas (LCNEC) and small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC) high-grade malignant tumors with dismal prognosis. While Ki-67 antigen labeling index, highlighting the proportion of proliferating tumor cells, has largely been used in digestive NETs for assessing prognosis and assisting therapy decisions, the same marker does not play an established role in the diagnosis, grading, and prognosis of lung NETs. Next generation sequencing techniques (NGS), thanks to their astonishing ability to process in a shorter timeframe up to billions of DNA strands, are radically revolutionizing our approach to diagnosis and therapy of tumors, including lung cancer. When applied to single genes, panels of genes, exome, or the whole genome by using either frozen or paraffin tissues, NGS techniques increase our understanding of cancer, thus realizing the bases of precision medicine. Data are emerging that TC and AC are mainly altered in chromatin remodeling genes, whereas LCNEC and SCLC are also mutated in cell cycle checkpoint and cell differentiation regulators. A common denominator to all lung NETs is a deregulation of cell proliferation, which represents a biological rationale for morphologic (mitoses and necrosis) and molecular (Ki-67 antigen) parameters to successfully serve as predictors of tumor behavior (i.e., identification of pathological entities with clinical correlation). It is envisaged that a novel grading system in lung NETs based on the combined assessment of mitoses, necrosis, and Ki-67 LI may offer a better stratification of prognostic classes, realizing a bridge between molecular alterations, morphological features, and clinical behavior.Endocrine Pathology 04/2014; · 1.60 Impact Factor