- Substantial changes in the 2021 WHO Classification of Tumors of the Pleura and Pericardium since the 2015 WHO Classification include the following: (1) pleural and pericardial tumors have been combined in one chapter whereas in the 2015 WHO, pericardial tumors were classified with cardiac tumors; (2) well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma has been renamed well-differentiated papillary mesothelial tumor given growing evidence that these tumors exhibit relatively indolent behavior; (3) localized and diffuse mesothelioma no longer include the term “malignant” as a prefix; (4) mesothelioma in situ has been added to the 2021 classification because these lesions can now be recognized by loss of BAP1 and/or MTAP by immunohistochemistry and/or CDKN2A homozygous deletion by fluorescence in situ hybridization; (5) the three main histologic subtypes (i.e., epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid) remain the same but architectural patterns and cytologic and stromal features are more formally incorporated into the 2021 classification on the basis of their prognostic significance; (6) nuclear grading for epithelioid diffuse mesothelioma is introduced, and it is recommended to record this and other histologically prognostic features in pathology reports; (7) BAP1, EZH2, and MTAP immunohistochemistry have been found to be useful in separating benign mesothelial proliferations from mesothelioma; (8) biphasic mesothelioma can be diagnosed in small biopsies having both epithelioid and sarcomatoid components even if the amount of one component is less than 10%; and (9) the most frequently altered genes in diffuse pleural mesothelioma include BAP1, CDKN2A, NF2, TP53, SETD2, and SETDB1.
- The 2021 WHO Classification of Thoracic Tumours was published earlier this year, with classification of lung tumors being one of the chapters. The principles remain those of using morphology first, supported by immunohistochemistry, and then molecular techniques. In 2015, there was particular emphasis on using immunohistochemistry to make classification more accurate. In 2021, there is greater emphasis throughout the book on advances in molecular pathology across all tumor types. Major features within this edition are (1) broader emphasis on genetic testing than in the 2015 WHO Classification; (2) a section entirely dedicated to the classification of small diagnostic samples; (3) continued recommendation to document percentages of histologic patterns in invasive nonmucinous adenocarcinomas, with utilization of these features to apply a formal grading system, and using only invasive size for T-factor size determination in part lepidic nonmucinous lung adenocarcinomas as recommended by the eighth edition TNM classification; (4) recognition of spread through airspaces as a histologic feature with prognostic significance; (5) moving lymphoepithelial carcinoma to squamous cell carcinomas; (6) update on evolving concepts in lung neuroendocrine neoplasm classification; (7) recognition of bronchiolar adenoma/ciliated muconodular papillary tumor as a new entity within the adenoma subgroup; (8) recognition of thoracic SMARCA4-deficient undifferentiated tumor; and (9) inclusion of essential and desirable diagnostic criteria for each tumor.
- The fifth edition of the WHO Classification of Thoracic Tumours1 presents an updated classification of cardiac tumors, detailed in Table 1. As in previous iterations, the tumors are stratified into benign and malignant varieties, with a separate section to address hematolymphoid neoplasms of the heart.
- This overview of the fifth edition of the WHO classification of thymic epithelial tumors (including thymomas, thymic carcinomas, and thymic neuroendocrine tumors [NETs]), mediastinal germ cell tumors, and mesenchymal neoplasms aims to (1) list established and new tumor entities and subtypes and (2) focus on diagnostic, molecular, and conceptual advances since publication of the fourth edition in 2015. Diagnostic advances are best exemplified by the immunohistochemical characterization of adenocarcinomas and the recognition of genetic translocations in metaplastic thymomas, rare B2 and B3 thymomas, and hyalinizing clear cell carcinomas.
- 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 isolation and analysis of circulating cell-free tumor DNA in plasma is a powerful tool with considerable potential to improve clinical outcomes across multiple cancer types, including NSCLC. Assays of this nature that use blood as opposed to tumor samples are frequently referred to as liquid biopsies. An increasing number of innovative platforms have been recently developed that improve not only the fidelity of the molecular analysis but also the number of tests performed on a single specimen.
- 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.