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Histopathology. 2000 Jan;36(1):8-16.

Thyroid transcription factor-1 is the superior immunohistochemical marker for pulmonary adenocarcinomas and large cell carcinomas compared to surfactant proteins A and B.

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Institute of Pathology, Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany.



Antibodies against the thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and the surfactant proteins A and B (SPA, SPB) were compared as paraffin-reactive immunohistochemical markers for non-small cell carcinomas of pulmonary origin.


We studied 138 carcinomas of pulmonary origin (98 adenocarcinomas, 20 non-neuroendocrine large cell carcinomas, 20 squamous cell carcinomas) and a total of 276 extrapulmonary carcinomas of various primary origins. Using the monoclonal antibody 8G7G3/1, TTF-1 was detectable in 75% of non-mucinous pulmonary adenocarcinomas and in 40% of large cell carcinomas but in only 10% of mucinous adenocarcinomas and not in squamous cell carcinomas. In contrast, both SPA and SPB were positive in only 45% of pulmonary adenocarcinomas and in 10% and in 5% of the large cell carcinomas, respectively. TTF-1 had a specificity of 0.98 for pulmonary carcinomas as 5/7 thyroid carcinomas were the only TTF-1-positive extrapulmonary tumours. Anti-SPB and anti-SPA had specificities of 1. 00 and 0.97, respectively.


The monoclonal antibody 8G7G3/1 against TTF-1 should be the first choice as a component of an antibody panel aiming to prove or to exclude the pulmonary origin of non-mucinous adenocarcinomas and non-neuroendocrine poorly differentiated carcinomas, especially in patients presenting with metastatic carcinomas of unknown primary site.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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