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    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Pneumologie
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    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Der Pathologe
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of several autoimmune disorders eventually presenting as severe multi organ dysfunction syndrome caused by adult hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Clinical and laboratory tests might lead to fatal misinterpretation without awareness of its diagnostic evaluation, as HLH shares common features with sepsis and immune-mediated systemic inflammatory response syndromes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: There is currently no Europe-wide consensus on the appropriate preanalytical measures and workflow to optimise procedures for tissue-based molecular testing of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To address this, a group of lung cancer experts (see list of authors) convened to discuss and propose standard operating procedures (SOPs) for NSCLC. Methods: Based on earlier meetings and scientific expertise on lung cancer, a multidisciplinary group meeting was aligned. The aim was to include all relevant aspects concerning NSCLC diagnosis. After careful consideration, the following topics were selected and each was reviewed by the experts: surgical resection and sampling; biopsy procedures for analysis; preanalytical and other variables affecting quality of tissue; tissue conservation; testing procedures for epidermal growth factor receptor, anaplastic lymphoma kinase and ROS proto-oncogene 1, receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1) in lung tissue and cytological specimens; as well as standardised reporting and quality control (QC). Finally, an optimal workflow was described. Results: Suggested optimal procedures and workflows are discussed in detail. The broad consensus was that the complex workflow presented can only be executed effectively by an interdisciplinary approach using a well-trained team. Conclusions: To optimise diagnosis and treatment of patients with NSCLC, it is essential to establish SOPs that are adaptable to the local situation. In addition, a continuous QC system and a local multidisciplinary tumour-type-oriented board are essential.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Thorax
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) for the detection of ALK-rearrangements in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is based on at first sight clear cut-off criteria (≥15% of tumor cells) for split signals (SS) and single red signals (SRS). However, NSCLC with SS-counts around the cut-off may cause interpretation problems. Material and methods: Tissue microarrays containing 753 surgically resected NSCLCs were independently tested for ALK-alterations by FISH and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Our analysis focused on samples with SS/SRS in the range between 10% and 20% (ALK-FISH borderline group). To better understand the role of these samples in routine diagnostics, we performed statistical analyses to systematically estimate the probability of ALK-FISH-misclassification (false negative or positive) for different numbers of evaluated tumor cell nuclei (30, 50, 100, and 200). Results: 94.3% (710/753) of the cases were classified as unequivocally (<10% or ≥20%) ALK-FISH-negative (93%; 700/753) or positive (1.3%; 10/753) and showed concordant IHC results. 5.7% (43/753) of the samples showed SS/SRS between 10% and 20% of the tumor cells. Out of these, 7% (3/43; ALK-FISH: 14%, 18% and 20%) were positive by ALK-IHC, while 93% (40/43) had no detectable expression of the ALK-protein. Statistical analysis showed that ALK-FISH misclassifications occur frequently for samples with rearrangements between 10% and 20% if ALK-characterization is based on a sharp cut-off point (15%). If results in this interval are defined as equivocal (borderline), statistical sampling-related ALK-FISH misclassifications will occur in less than 1% of the cases if 100 tumor cells are evaluated. Conclusion: While ALK status can be determined robustly for the majority of NSCLC by FISH our analysis showed that ∼6% of the cases belong to a borderline group for which ALK-FISH evaluation has only limited reliability due to statistical sampling effects. These cases should be considered equivocal and therapy decisions should include additional tests and clinical considerations.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Lung Cancer
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ALK, MET and ROS1 are prognostic and predictive markers in NSCLC, which need to be implemented in daily routine. To evaluate different detection approaches and scoring systems for optimal stratification of patients eligible for mutation testing in the future, we screened a large and unselected cohort of NSCLCs for all three alterations.Material and Methods Using tissue microarrays, 473 surgically resected NSCLCs were tested for ALK and MET expression by IHC and genomic alterations in the ALK, MET and ROS1 gene by FISH. For MET IHC, two different criteria (MetMab and H-score), for MET FISH, three different scoring systems (UCCC, Cappuzzo, PathVysion) were investigated.ResultsALK and ROS1 positivity was seen in 2.6% and 1.3% of all ADCs, respectively, but not in pure SCCs. One ROS1 translocated tumor showed additional ROS1 amplification. MET IHC+/FISH+ cases were found in both histological subtypes (8.6% in all NSCLCs; 10.6% in ADCs; 5.0% in SCCs) and were associated with pleural invasion, lymphatic vessel invasion and lymph node metastasis. MET altered ADCs more frequently showed a papillary growth pattern. Whereas ALK testing revealed homogenous results in IHC and FISH, we saw discordant results for MET in about 10% of cases. Both MET-IHC scoring systems revealed almost identical results. We did not encounter any combined FISH positivity for ALK, MET or ROS1. However, three ALK positive cases harbored MET overexpression.Conclusion In daily routine, IHC could support FISH in the identification of ALK altered NSCLCs. Further research is needed to assess the role of discordant MET results by means of IHC and FISH as well as the relevance of tumors with an increased ROS1 gene copy number.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Lung Cancer
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-gene rearrangements in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is mainly performed by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH). The question was raised if FISH might be replaced by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a reliable and reproducible manner across different laboratories. After calibration of the staining instruments and training of the observers to binary interpretation (positive versus negative), 15 NSCLC were independently tested for ALK protein expression by IHC only in a multicenter setting (16 institutes). Each laboratory utilized the VENTANA ALK-D5F3 IHC assay. As demonstrated by FISH the samples displayed unequivocal ALK break-positivity (6×) and negativity (7×), as well as ALK positive-"borderline" character (2×), which is challenging for FISH diagnosis and thus was RT-PCR-confirmed. All seven ALK FISH-negative cases were homogenously scored as ALK-IHC negative. All 16 participants scored the two ALK positive-"borderline" samples as unequivocally positive according to their protein expression. Concordant IHC interpretation was also noticed in four of six unequivocal ALK break positive cases. In two of six some observers described a weak/heterogeneous ALK-IHC staining. This would have resulted in a subsequent ALK-testing (FISH/PCR) in a routine diagnostic setting. This so-called "ALK-Harmonization-Study" shows for the first time that predictive semiquantitative IHC reveals reliable and reproducible results across several labs when methodology and interpretation are strictly defined and the pathologists are uniquely trained. The application of validated ALK IHC assays and its comparison to ALK-FISH is highly needed in future clinical trials. This might answer the question if ALK-IHC cannot only serve as a prescreening tool, but as a stand-alone test at least in cases displaying an unequivocally staining pattern as well as an alternative predictive test in samples with reduced FISH interpretability.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Thoracic Oncology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib has recently received approval for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). As the therapeutic prescription postulates the detection of ALK rearrangements, reliable diagnostic approaches are of utmost importance. With this study, we present the data of the first German ALK-round robin test based on genomic DNA in situ hybridization (ISH). The application of immunohistochemistry (IHC) for ALK protein detection was optional and not required for certification. Methods: Two tissue microarrays, each consisting of the same 10 NSCLC but in different arrangement of the cases, were generated (five unequivocally ALK-positive and five unequivocally ALK-negative cases). ISH-based results and optional IHC data had to be submitted within 10 working days. A successful participation (certification) was reached if at least 19 of the 20 possible points were scored (2 points for a correct case classification). Results: Fifty-three of 59 participants (89.8%) provided their data for ISH-ALK detection within the submission period. Thirty-two of 53 participants (60.3%) received at least 19 points required for certification. Remarkably, the range of cells with aberrant ALK signal configuration was broad in ALK-negative (0-13%) and in ALK-positive cases (15-95%). Thirty-five participants supported the round robin test with optional ALK IHC results, which displayed a great heterogeneity in the ALK ISH-positive cases. Conclusion: In essence, our ALK ISH round robin test clearly demonstrates that there is accumulating need for improvement of ALK testing. Although ISH may be regarded as a well-established procedure, its broad application in a diagnostic setting is challenging and requires standardized methods and harmonized interpretation to achieve sound results for therapeutic decisions. The same is true for ALK IHC which, however if standardized, might improve the diagnostic approach.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • M. von Laffert · A. Warth · R. Penzel · P. Schirmacher · D. Lenze · M. Hummel · M. Dietel
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Thoracic Oncology
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    M von Laffert · R Arsenic · H Olze · M Dietel · F.C. Uecker
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Warthin tumors (cystadenolymphoma, cystadenoma lymphomatosum papilliferum) account for approximately 10-15 % of all benign salivary gland tumors and are bilateral in approximately 10-15 %, as well as extraparotideal in approximately 8 % of cases. Nasopharyngeal Warthin tumors are extremely rare; however they should be borne in mind as a consideration of differential diagnostics. Furthermore, parotid glands and cervical lymph nodes should be examined as associated synchronous or metachronous manifestations are possible. Palpation, sonography and other radiological imaging of the cervical region, if applicable, might be required.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Der Pathologe
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The reliable identification of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) with chromosomal breaks in the gene of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is crucial for the induction of therapy with ALK-inhibitors. In order to ensure a reliable detection of ALK-breaks by means of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing, round robin tests are essential. In preparation of a nation (German)-wide round robin test we initiated a pre-testing phase involving 8 experts in FISH-diagnostics to identify NSCLC cases (n = 10) with a pre-tested ALK-status. In addition, ALK immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to assess ALK protein expression. Material and methods: Sections derived from a tissue microarray, each consisting of 3 cores from 10 NSCLC cases, were independently tested for ALK protein expression by IHC and genomic ALK-breaks by FISH involving 8 institutes of pathology. Based on a pre-screening, 5 cases were identified to be clearly ALK-break negative, whereas the remaining 5 cases were ALK-break positive including one case with low percentage (20%) of positive cells. The latter had been additionally tested by RT-PCR. Results: The 5 unequivocal ALK-break negative NSCLC were almost consistently scored negative by means of FISH and IHC by all 8 experts. Interestingly, 4 of the 5 cases with pre-defined ALK-breaks revealed homogenous FISH results whereas IHC for the detection of ALK protein expression showed heterogeneous results. The remaining case (low number of ALK-break positive cells) was scored negative by 3 experts and positive by the other 5. RT-PCR revealed the expression of an EML4-ALK fusion gene variant 1. Conclusion: ALK-break negative NSCLC cases revealed concordant homogeneous results by means of FISH and IHC (score 0-1) by all 8 experts. Discordant FISH results were raised in one ALK-break positive case with a low number of affected tumor cells. The remaining 4 ALK-break positive cases revealed concordant FISH data whereas the ALK-IHC revealed very diverse results. The cases with concordant FISH results provide an excellent basis for round robin ALK-FISH testing. As long as standardized ALK-IHC protocols are missing, ALK protein expression cannot by regarded as the method of choice for identification of patients eligible for treatment with ALK inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing importance of targeting drugs in the treatment of several tumor entities (breast, colon, lung, malignant melanoma (MM), lymphoma, and so on) and the necessity of a companion diagnostic (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF), and so on) is leading to new challenges for surgical pathology. As all the biomarkers to be specifically detected are tissue based, a precise and reliable diagnostic is absolutely crucial. To meet this challenge, surgical pathology has adapted a number of molecular methods (semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization), PCR and its multiple variants, (pyro/Sanger) sequencing, next-generation sequencing, DNA-arrays, methylation analyses, and so on) to be applicable for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. To read a patients' tissue as 'deeply' as possible and to obtain information on morphological, genetic, proteomic as well as epigenetic background is the actual task of pathologists and molecular biologists in order to provide the clinicians with information relevant for individualized medicine. The intensified cooperation of clinicians and pathologists will provide the basis of improved clinical drug selection as well as guide development of new cancer gene therapies and molecularly targeted drugs by research units and the pharmaceutical industry. This review will give some information on (1) biomarker detection methods adapted to FFPE tissue, (2) the potency of predictive pathology in tumor detection and treatment and (3) the implications of pathology on the development of new drugs in molecularly targeted and gene therapies.Cancer Gene Therapy advance online publication, 15 March 2013; doi:10.1038/cgt.2013.13.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Cancer gene therapy
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    F William Danby · G.B.E. Jemec · W Ch Marsch · M von Laffert
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The initial pathology in hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)/acne inversa takes place in the folliculopilosebaceous unit (FPSU) and its surrounding tissue. The process involves follicular hyperkeratosis, inflammation and perifolliculitis. Identification of the exact origin of inflammation may shed new light on the pathogenesis and aetiology of the disease. Objectives To study the morphology of the basement membrane zone (BMZ) in patients with HS. Methods In total, 65 operative specimens from 20 patients diagnosed with HS were cut stepwise. Within each specimen, the focus was set on heavily involved HS regions (centre) and clinically uninvolved regions (border). All specimens were stained with periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) to visualize the epithelial support structures of the FPSU (i.e. the BMZ), the sinus tracts (STs) and the interfollicular basement membrane (BM). The intensity of BMZ PAS staining was graded from 0 to 4+. Results Compared with the axillary skin of human controls, the sebofollicular junction in patients with HS was found to be almost devoid of PAS-positive material (grade 0/1+) in both the border and centre lesions of HS, whereas STs and BMs showed uniformly grade 2–3+ positivity irrespective of any inflammation present. The distribution of inflammatory cells around the sebofollicular junction occurred predominantly in areas of BMZ thinning. Conclusions The BMZ PAS positivity of clinically uninvolved FPSUs of patients with HS appears to be wispy or not present at all. It is speculated that this may explain the apparent fragility of the sebofollicular junction. There is an increased concentration of inflammatory cells adjacent to these areas, while inflammatory cells are scarce in areas where the PAS-positive material is intact. It is hypothesized that the PAS gap identifies (i) areas susceptible to leakage, trauma and rupture, leading to release of materials that trigger inflammatory mediators, and (ii) the seeding of the dermis with free-living stem cells generating benign but invasive epithelialized sinuses, spreading horizontally in and below the dermis.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · British Journal of Dermatology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The term 'pilonidal sinus' (PS) reflects an acute exacerbating, purulent, fistulating chronic inflammation located in the coccyx region. Systematic histological investigations are scarce, and the etiology has remained controversial. Histological and immunohistochemical characterization of totally excised material of 27 patients (68 specimens) with PS (no antecedent and no current clinical signs of hidradenitis suppurativa, HS) and its correlation with data on HS which we published earlier. Follicular hyperplasia/hyperkeratosis and interfollicular epidermal hyperplasia are main features of PS. Early pathology seems to take place at terminal hair follicles, whereas sinus tract formations are a secondary event. Focused regions show an inflammatory mixed infiltrate consisting of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD68+ and CD79+ cells. PS and HS have various common characteristics at the histological and immunohistochemical level. Considering PS as a unilocalized type of HS, risk factors known in the latter should henceforth be evaluated in PS as well.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Dermatology
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    M von Laffert · V Stadie · J Wohlrab · W.C. Marsch
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa is a chronic, inflammatory, scarring disease in the terminal hair follicle and apocrine gland-bearing areas (skin folds). There is considerable histological evidence that perifolliculitis and follicular hyperkeratosis precede the rupture of the follicle. The timing of the epithelial hyperplasia at the infundibula of inflamed terminal follicles has not yet been clarified. To clarify the early histopathological life of lesions ('chronology') in hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa, focusing on the terminal follicle structure and its surrounding tissue (hyperkeratosis, hyperplasia of follicular epithelium, perifolliculitis and rupture). In total, 485 operative specimens obtained from 128 patients with diagnosed hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa (all surgically treated by wide excision) were examined histologically. Two to five histological preparations (total 485) per operation area (total 196) were prepared by multiple slicing. Hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa showed a heterogeneous histological pattern: hyperkeratosis of the terminal follicles (89%), hyperplasia of follicular epithelium (80%), pronounced perifolliculitis (68%) and follicle rupture (24%). Perifolliculitis, follicular hyperkeratosis and hyperplasia occurred prior to the rupture of the follicle. Other histological criteria were: subepidermal cellular inflammatory infiltrate (82%), epidermal psoriasiform hyperplasia (56%), pronounced acute dermal inflammation (28%), pronounced chronic dermal inflammation (49%), and involvement of apocrine glands (52%) and subcutis (31%). Infundibular hyperkeratosis, hyperplasia of the follicular epithelium and perifolliculitis are major histopathological characteristics of hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa. These apparently precede rupture of the follicle. In particular, hyperplasia of the follicular epithelium probably marks the beginning of sinus formation, which usually spreads horizontally. Psoriasiform hyperplasia of the interfollicular epidermis with subepidermal inflammatory infiltrate might be interpreted as an inflammation-driven process basically identical to that which is evident at the terminal follicle. However, it does not lead to harmful and progressive sequelae like those (rupture, sinus tracts) seen at the terminal follicles.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · British Journal of Dermatology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa) is a chronic suppurative and scarring inflammatory disease with predilection in the apocrine gland-bearing areas. Histological investigations in the 1990s showed keratotic occlusion of the terminal follicle structure to be the initial cause. Our investigations describe and reproduce the morphology and try to figure out very early lesions of HS. A total of 262 operative specimens from 60 patients were investigated by routine histology and 11 operative specimens by immunohistochemistry: HS is dominated by a heterogeneous histological image. 82% of the surgical specimens showed mild or pronounced follicular hyperkeratosis, whereas an isotopic hyperplasia of follicular epithelium was evident in 77%. Pronounced perifolliculitis was seen in 68% and rupture of the follicle structure in 28%. Features which had not so far been described in detail were: epidermal psoriasiform hyperplasia (43%) and subepidermal interfollicular inflammatory infiltrate (78%). In all 11 specimens, immunohistochemical investigations showed a perifollicular and subepidermal inflammation of CD-3-, CD-4-, CD-68-, CD-79- and CD-8-cells, the latter with a striking selective epitheliotropism. To conclude, we could show follicular hyperkeratosis and lymphocytic perifollicular inflammation as early patterns in pathogenesis, whereas rupture of the follicle structure takes place later. Finally, it seems that there are two hot spots of inflammatory events (perifollicular and subepidermal) composed of a comparable inflammatory cell mixture. The CD-8 cell epitheliotropism (follicular and epidermal) described here and its influence in follicular hyperkeratosis, in hyperplasia of follicular epithelium and in epidermal psoriasiform hyperplasia will be of further interest, for instance, concerning early pharmacological intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Experimental Dermatology
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    Maximilian von Laffert
    Full-text · Conference Paper · May 2009
  • B. Kreft · F. Emmerling · B. Danz · M. von Laffert · W. C. Marsch
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