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Immunohistochemistry for Diagnosis of Metastatic Carcinomas of Unknown Primary Site

Département D’anatomie et Cytologie Pathologiques, Institut Universitaire du Cancer-Oncopole, 1 Avenue Irène Joliot-Curie, 31059 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
Laboratoire de Pathologie Clinique et Expérimentale, Hôpital Pasteur, FHU Oncoage, Université Côte d’Azur, 30 Voie Romaine, 06000 Nice, France
Département de Biologie et Pathologie Médicales, Institut Gustave Roussy, 114, rue Edouard Vaillant, 94805 Villejuif, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2018, 10(4), 108;
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 31 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunohistochemistry and Cancer Diagnosis)
Immunohistochemistry has become an essential ancillary examination for the identification and classification of carcinomas of unknown primary site (CUPs). Over the last decade, the diagnostic accuracy of organ- or tumour-specific immunomarkers and the clinical validation of effective immunohistochemical panels has improved significantly. When dealing with small sample sizes, diagnostic accuracy is crucial, particularly in the current era of targeted molecular and immune-based therapies. Effective systematic use of appropriate immunohistochemical panels enables accurate classification of most of the undifferentiated carcinomas as well as careful preservation of tissues for potential molecular or other ancillary tests. This review discusses the algorithmic approach to the diagnosis of CUPs using CK7 and CK20 staining patterns. It outlines the most frequently used tissue-specific antibodies, provides some pitfalls essential in avoiding potential diagnostic errors and discusses the complementary tools, such as molecular tumour profiling and mutation-specific antibodies, for the improvement of diagnosis and prediction of the treatment response. View Full-Text
Keywords: carcinoma; unknown primary site; diagnosis; immunohistochemistry carcinoma; unknown primary site; diagnosis; immunohistochemistry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Selves, J.; Long-Mira, E.; Mathieu, M.-C.; Rochaix, P.; Ilié, M. Immunohistochemistry for Diagnosis of Metastatic Carcinomas of Unknown Primary Site. Cancers 2018, 10, 108.

AMA Style

Selves J, Long-Mira E, Mathieu M-C, Rochaix P, Ilié M. Immunohistochemistry for Diagnosis of Metastatic Carcinomas of Unknown Primary Site. Cancers. 2018; 10(4):108.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Selves, Janick; Long-Mira, Elodie; Mathieu, Marie-Christine; Rochaix, Philippe; Ilié, Marius. 2018. "Immunohistochemistry for Diagnosis of Metastatic Carcinomas of Unknown Primary Site" Cancers 10, no. 4: 108.

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