Neuroendocrine tumors of the lung: clinicopathological and molecular features.

Research paper by Akira A Iyoda, Yoko Y Azuma, Atsushi A Sano

Indexed on: 21 Mar '20Published on: 21 Mar '20Published in: Surgery Today


In 1970, neuroendocrine tumors of the lung were classified into three categories: typical carcinoid (TC), atypical carcinoid (AC), and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). The third edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification in 1999 defined large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) as a variant of large cell carcinomas, whereas the fourth edition of the WHO classification redefined LCNEC as a neuroendocrine tumor. Currently, neuroendocrine tumors of the lung are classified into four main categories: TC, AC, LCNEC, and SCLC. Although the treatments for TC, AC, and SCLC have not changed remarkably, the treatment strategy for LCNEC is not yet established because of its reclassification from a variant of "large cell carcinoma" to a new category of "neuroendocrine tumor". In this review article, we discuss the pathological findings, biological behavior, and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors of the lung.