Journal of clinical pathology

Immunocytochemical expression of tissue specific transcription factor-1 in lung carcinoma.

PMID 9059352


To investigate the immunocytochemical expression of the tissue specific transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) on cytological specimens of small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and to establish its value in the cytological diagnosis of lung cancer. For each case, the diagnosis was made on cytological specimens and confirmed on subsequent bronchial biopsy specimens. TTF-1 was detected immunocytochemically using the avidinbiotin complex technique with a rabbit antiserum. Expression of TTF-1 was evaluated in 41 cases of SCLC and 17 cases of non-small cell carcinoma (NSCC). The latter were subdivided into eight cases of adenocarcinomas and nine cases of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Positive nuclear immunoreactivity to TTF-1 was identified in 38 (92.7%) of the 41 cases of SCLC, in five (62.5%) of eight cases of adenocarcinoma, and one (11%) of nine cases of SCC. A significant difference was observed between the two main groups, SCLC and NSCC. A comparison between SCLC and adenocarcinoma and SCC showed that TTF-1 expression was significantly different. TTF-1 immunoreactivity was not detected in the inflammatory cells of the same cases. TTF-1 is strictly associated with SCLC; it was weakly expressed in the various subtypes of NSCC. Although TTF-1 is not specific for SCLC, it can be used to highlight neoplastic cells to good effect when a large inflammatory component is present, and to differentiate SCLC from lymphoid infiltrates.

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