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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Combined immunohistochemistry of β-catenin, cytokeratin 7, and cytokeratin 20 is useful in discriminating primary lung adenocarcinomas from metastatic colorectal cancer

Satoshi Ikeda1*, Masahiko Fujimori2, Satoshi Shibata2, Masazumi Okajima1, Yasuyo Ishizaki2, Takeshi Kurihara2, Yoshihiro Miyata2, Masahiko Iseki2, Yosuke Shimizu2, Noriaki Tokumoto2, Shinji Ozaki2 and Toshimasa Asahara2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endoscopic Surgery and Surgical Science, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan

2 Department of Surgery, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-31

Published: 2 February 2006

Abstract

Background

It is important to discriminate between primary and secondary lung cancer. However, often, the discriminating diagnosis of primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma and lung metastasis of colorectal cancer based on morphological and pathological findings is difficult. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical usefulness of immunohistochemistry of β-catenin, cytokeratin (CK) 7, and CK20 for the discriminating diagnosis of lung cancer.

Methods

We performed immunohistochemistry of β-catenin, CK7, and CK20 in 19 lung metastasis of colorectal cancer samples, 10 corresponding primary colorectal cancer samples and 11 primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma samples and compared the levels of accuracy of the discriminating diagnosis by using antibodies against these antigens.

Results

Positive staining of β-catenin was observed in all the lung metastasis of colorectal cancer samples as well as in the primary colorectal cancer samples but in none of the primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma samples. Positive staining of CK7 was observed in 90.9% of the primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma samples and in 5.3% of the lung metastasis of colorectal cancer samples, but in none of the primary colorectal cancer samples. Positive staining of CK20 was observed in all the primary colorectal cancer samples and in 84.2% of the lung metastasis of colorectal cancer samples, but in none of the primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma samples.

Conclusion

Combined immunohistochemistry of β-catenin, CK7, and CK20 is useful for making a discriminating diagnosis between lung metastasis of colorectal cancer and primary lung acinar adenocarcinoma. This method will enable accurate diagnosis of a lung tumor and will be useful for selecting appropriate therapeutic strategies, including chemotherapeutic agents and operation methods.