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Katsetos CD , Kontogeorgos G , Geddes JF , Herman MM , Tsimara-Papastamatiou H , Yu YX , Sakkas LI , Tsokos M , Patchefsky AS , Ehya H , Cooper HS , Provencio J , Spano AJ , Frankfurter A
Differential distribution of the neuron-associated class III beta-tubulin in neuroendocrine lung tumors
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 2000 Apr;124(4) :535-544
PMID: ISI:000086508900012   
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Abstract
Objective.-To study the immunoreactivity profile of the neuron- associated class III beta-tubulin isotype (beta III) in epithelial lung tumors. Design.-One hundred four formalin- fixed, paraffin-embedded primary and metastatic lung cancer specimens were immunostained with an anti-beta III mouse monoclonal antibody (TuJ1) and an anti-beta III affinity- purified rabbit antiserum. Paraffin sections from fetal, infantile, and adult nonneoplastic lung tissues were also examined. Results;-In the fetal airway epithelium, beta III staining is detected transiently in rare Kulchitsky-like cells from lung tissues corresponding to the pseudoglandular and canalicular but not the saccular or alveolar stages of development. beta III is absent in healthy, hyperplastic, metaplastic, and dysplastic airway epithelium of the adult lung. In contrast, beta III is highly expressed in small cell lung cancer, large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, and in some non-small cell lung cancers, particularly adenocarcinomas. There is no correlation between expression of beta III and generic neuroendocrine markers, such as chromogranin A and/or synaptophysin, in pulmonary adenocarcinomas. Also, focal beta III staining is present in primary and metastatic adenocarcinomas (to the lung) originating in the colon, prostate, and ovary, beta III is expressed to a much lesser extent atypical carcinoids and is rarely detectable in typical carcinoids and squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. The distribution of beta III in small cell lung cancer and adenocarcinoma metastases to regional lymph nodes and brain approaches 100% of tumor cells, which is substantially greater than in the primary tumors. Conclusions.-In the context of neuroendocrine lung tumors, beta III immunoreactivity is a molecular signature of high-grade malignant neoplasms (small cell lung cancer and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma) although its importance in atypical carcinoids must be evaluated further. In addition, beta III may be a useful diagnostic marker in distinguishing between small cell lung cancers and certain non-small cell lung cancers (poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas), especially in small biopsy specimens. To our knowledge, beta III is the only tumor biomarker that exhibits a substantially more widespread distribution in poorly differentiated than in better differentiated pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors. However, the significance of beta III phenotypes in non-small cell lung cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, with respect to neuroendocrine differentiation and prognostic value, requires further evaluation.
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Times Cited: 6 English Article 304XG ARCH PATHOL LAB MED