Diagnostic value of insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1) and comparison with established neuroendocrine markers in pulmonary cancers

Johan Staaf, Lena Tran, Linnea Söderlund, Björn Nodin, Karin Jirström, Halla Vidarsdottir, Maria Planck, Johanna S.M. Mattsson, Johan Botling, Patrick Micke, Hans Brunnström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context.-The diagnostic distinction of pulmonary neuroendocrine (NE) tumors from non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) is clinically relevant for prognostication and treatment. Diagnosis is based on morphology and immunohistochemical staining. Objective.-To determine the diagnostic value of insulinoma-associated protein 1 (INSM1), in comparison with established NE markers, in pulmonary tumors. Design.-Fifty-four pulmonary NE tumors and 632 NSCLCs were stained for INSM1, CD56, chromogranin A, and synaptophysin. In a subset, gene expression data were available for analysis. Also, 419 metastases to the lungs were stained for INSM1. A literature search identified 39 additional studies with data on NE markers in lung cancers from the last 15 years. Seven of these included data on INSM1. Results.-A positive INSM1 staining was seen in 39 of 54 NE tumors (72%) and 6 of 623 NSCLCs (1%). The corresponding numbers were 47 of 54 (87%) and 14 of 626 (2%) for CD56, 30 of 54 (56%) and 6 of 629 (1%) for chromogranin A, and 46 of 54 (85%) and 49 of 630 (8%) for synaptophysin, respectively. Analysis of literature data revealed that CD56 and INSM1 were the best markers for identification of high-grade NE pulmonary tumors when considering both sensitivity and specificity, while synaptophysin also showed good sensitivity. INSM1 gene expression was clearly associated with NE histology. Conclusions.-The solid data of both our and previous studies confirm the diagnostic value of INSM1 as a NE marker in pulmonary pathology. The combination of CD56 with INSM1 and/or synaptophysin should be the first-hand choice to confirm pulmonary high-grade NE tumors. INSM1 gene expression could be used to predict NE tumor histology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1085
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology


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