Cancers 2012, 4(3), 777-798; doi:10.3390/cancers4030777
Review

Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung

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Received: 21 May 2012; in revised form: 4 July 2012 / Accepted: 13 July 2012 / Published: 31 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroendocrine Tumors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Neuroendocrine tumors may develop throughout the human body with the majority being found in the gastrointestinal tract and bronchopulmonary system. Neuroendocrine tumors are classified according to the grade of biological aggressiveness (G1–G3) and the extent of differentiation (well-differentiated/poorly-differentiated). The well-differentiated neoplasms comprise typical (G1) and atypical (G2) carcinoids. Large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas as well as small cell carcinomas (G3) are poorly-differentiated. The identification and differentiation of atypical from typical carcinoids or large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas and small cell carcinomas is essential for treatment options and prognosis. Pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors are characterized according to the proportion of necrosis, the mitotic activity, palisading, rosette-like structure, trabecular pattern and organoid nesting. The given information about the histopathological assessment, classification, prognosis, genetic aberration as well as treatment options of pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors are based on own experiences and reviewing the current literature available. Most disagreements among the classification of neuroendocrine tumor entities exist in the identification of typical versus atypical carcinoids, atypical versus large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas and large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas versus small cell carcinomas. Additionally, the classification is restricted in terms of limited specificity of immunohistochemical markers and possible artifacts in small biopsies which can be compressed in cytological specimens. Until now, pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors have been increasing in incidence. As compared to NSCLCs, only little research has been done with respect to new molecular targets as well as improving the classification and differential diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors of the lung.
Keywords: carcinoids; LCNEC; SCLC
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fisseler-Eckhoff, A.; Demes, M. Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung. Cancers 2012, 4, 777-798.

AMA Style

Fisseler-Eckhoff A, Demes M. Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung. Cancers. 2012; 4(3):777-798.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fisseler-Eckhoff, Annette; Demes, Melanie. 2012. "Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung." Cancers 4, no. 3: 777-798.

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