Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP; mammalian bombesin) is present in the neuroendocrine cells of human fetal lung and in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLCs), where it may act as a growth factor. Considering the potential importance of GRP as a tumor marker, we have conducted a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of 176 lung tumors for markers of GRP gene expression, as well as several other markers of neuroendocrine cell differentiation: chromogranin A, neuron-specific enolase, and calcitonin. The majority of carcinoids contained mature GRP, in contrast to only a minority of SCLCs and large cell lung carcinomas (LCLCs). However, a majority of SCLCs and LCLCs contained proGRP immunoreactivity. In situ hybridization did not add any information beyond what was obtained using proGRP antisera. In spite of sharing these neuroendocrine cell markers, SCLCs are associated with a graver prognosis than LCLCs. No prognostic significance was associated with immunostaining for GRP or several other markers of neuroendocrine cell differentiation.
- in situ hybridization
- lung tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine