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Virchows Arch. 2002 Jun;440(6):598-603. Epub 2002 Apr 26.

Mixed mucinous-type and non-mucinous-type adenocarcinoma of the lung: immunohistochemical examination and K- ras gene mutation.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.


Mucinous-type adenocarcinoma and non-mucinous-type adenocarcinoma are known to be the representative histological subtypes of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma. Mucinous-type adenocarcinoma is also known to carry abnormalities of the K- ras gene at high frequency. However, the mixed subtype of the both mucinous-type and non-mucinous-type adenocarcinoma (mixed-type) has not been analyzed in detail, although its existence has been reported in a few papers. In this study we carried out immunohistochemical and molecular biological analyses of 15 examples of the mixed-type, in comparison with 11 cases of mucinous-type and 21 cases of non-mucinous-type adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemically, lysozyme - one of the specific markers of mucinous-type adenocarcinoma - was not stained in the mucinous component of the mixed-type. K- ras gene mutations were detected only in mucinous-type (73%) and non-mucinous-type (10%) adenocarcinomas and not in either the mucinous or non-mucinous component of the mixed-type (0%). Therefore, although mixed-type adenocarcinomas consist of tumor cells showing both mucinous and non-mucinous morphology, the mucinous component of this type differs from mucinous-type adenocarcinoma in terms of immunohistochemical features and K- ras gene alteration.

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