- Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry (IHC) is required to determine the eligibility for pembrolizumab monotherapy in advanced NSCLC worldwide and for several other indications depending on the country. Four assays have been approved/ Communauté Européene–In vitro Diagnostic (CV-IVD)–marked, but PD-L1 IHC seems diversely implemented across regions and laboratories with the application of laboratory-developed tests (LDTs).
- Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapies have revolutionized the management of patients with NSCLC and have led to unprecedented improvements in response rates and survival in a subset of patients with this fatal disease. However, the available therapies work only for a minority of patients, are associated with substantial societal cost, and may lead to considerable immune-related adverse events. Therefore, patient selection must be optimized through the use of relevant biomarkers. Programmed death-ligand 1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry is widely used today for the selection of programmed cell death protein 1 inhibitor therapy in patients with NSCLC; however, this approach lacks robust sensitivity and specificity for predicting response.
- Molecular and immunologic breakthroughs are transforming the management of thoracic cancer, although advances have not been as marked for malignant pleural mesothelioma where pathologic diagnosis has been essentially limited to three histologic subtypes.
- Since the 2015 WHO classification was introduced into clinical practice, immunohistochemistry (IHC) has figured prominently in lung cancer diagnosis. In addition to distinction of small cell versus non–small cell carcinoma, patients’ treatment of choice is directly linked to histologic subtypes of non–small cell carcinoma, which pertains to IHC results, particularly for poorly differentiated tumors. The use of IHC has improved diagnostic accuracy in the classification of lung carcinoma, but the interpretation of IHC results remains challenging in some instances.
- The Blueprint (BP) Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Immunohistochemistry Comparability Project is a pivotal academic/professional society and industrial collaboration to assess the feasibility of harmonizing the clinical use of five independently developed commercial PD-L1 immunohistochemistry assays. The goal of BP phase 2 (BP2) was to validate the results obtained in BP phase 1 by using real-world clinical lung cancer samples.
- In 2013, an evidence-based guideline was published by the College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology to set standards for the molecular analysis of lung cancers to guide treatment decisions with targeted inhibitors. New evidence has prompted an evaluation of additional laboratory technologies, targetable genes, patient populations, and tumor types for testing.
- Multiple tumor nodules are seen with increasing frequency in clinical practice. On the basis of the 2015 WHO classification of lung tumors, we assessed the reproducibility of the comprehensive histologic assessment to distinguish second primary lung cancers (SPLCs) from intrapulmonary metastases (IPMs), looking for the most distinctive histologic features. An international panel of lung pathologists reviewed a scanned sequential cohort of 126 tumors from 48 patients and recorded an agreed set of histologic features, including tumor typing and predominant pattern of adenocarcinoma, thereby opining whether the case was SPLC, IPM, or a combination thereof.
- The 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus and Heart has just been published with numerous important changes from the 2004 WHO classification. The most significant changes in this edition involve (1) use of immunohistochemistry throughout the classification, (2) a new emphasis on genetic studies, in particular, integration of molecular testing to help personalize treatment strategies for advanced lung cancer patients, (3) a new classification for small biopsies and cytology similar to that proposed in the 2011 Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society classification, (4) a completely different approach to lung adenocarcinoma as proposed by the 2011 Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society classification, (5) restricting the diagnosis of large cell carcinoma only to resected tumors that lack any clear morphologic or immunohistochemical differentiation with reclassification of the remaining former large cell carcinoma subtypes into different categories, (6) reclassifying squamous cell carcinomas into keratinizing, nonkeratinizing, and basaloid subtypes with the nonkeratinizing tumors requiring immunohistochemistry proof of squamous differentiation, (7) grouping of neuroendocrine tumors together in one category, (8) adding NUT carcinoma, (9) changing the term sclerosing hemangioma to sclerosing pneumocytoma, (10) changing the name hamartoma to “pulmonary hamartoma,” (11) creating a group of PEComatous tumors that include (a) lymphangioleiomyomatosis, (b) PEComa, benign (with clear cell tumor as a variant) and (c) PEComa, malignant, (12) introducing the entity pulmonary myxoid sarcoma with an EWSR1–CREB1 translocation, (13) adding the entities myoepithelioma and myoepithelial carcinomas, which can show EWSR1 gene rearrangements, (14) recognition of usefulness of WWTR1–CAMTA1 fusions in diagnosis of epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas, (15) adding Erdheim–Chester disease to the lymphoproliferative tumor, and (16) a group of tumors of ectopic origin to include germ cell tumors, intrapulmonary thymoma, melanoma and meningioma.
- The 2004 World Health Organization classification of lung cancer contained three major forms of non–small-cell lung cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC), adenocarcinoma (AdC), and large cell carcinoma. The goal of this study was first, to assess the reproducibility of a set of histopathological features for SqCC in relation to other poorly differentiated non–small-cell lung cancers and second, to assess the value of immunohistochemistry in improving the diagnosis.