Modern Pathology 2017 January 27 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Amatya VJ, Kushitani K, Mawas AS, Miyata Y, Okada M, Kishimoto T, Inai K, Takeshima Y


Sarcomatoid mesothelioma, a histological subtype of malignant pleural mesothelioma, is a very aggressive tumor with a poor prognosis. Histological diagnosis of sarcomatoid mesothelioma largely depends on the histomorphological feature of spindled tumor cells with immunohistochemical reactivity to cytokeratins. Diagnosis also requires clinico-radiological and/or macroscopic evidence of an extrapulmonary location to differentiate it from lung sarcomatoid carcinoma. Although there are promising immunohistochemical antibody panels to differentiate mesothelioma from lung carcinoma, a consensus on the immunohistochemical markers that distinguish sarcomatoid mesothelioma from lung sarcomatoid carcinoma has not been reached and requires further study. We performed whole gene expression analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from sarcomatoid mesothelioma and lung sarcomatoid carcinoma and observed significant differences in the expression of MUC4 and other genes between sarcomatoid mesothelioma and lung sarcomatoid carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that MUC4 was expressed in the spindled tumor cells of lung sarcomatoid carcinoma (21/29, 72%) but was not expressed in any sarcomatoid mesothelioma (0/31, 0%). To differentiate sarcomatoid mesothelioma from lung sarcomatoid carcinoma, negative MUC4 expression showed 100% sensitivity and 72% specificity and accuracy rate of 87%, which is higher than immunohistochemical markers such as calretinin, D2-40 and Claudin-4. Therefore, we recommend to include MUC4 as a novel and useful negative immunohistochemical marker for differentiating sarcomatoid mesothelioma from lung sarcomatoid carcinoma