Utility of Genomic Analysis in Differentiating Synchronous and Metachronous Lung Adenocarcinomas from Primary Adenocarcinomas with Intrapulmonary Metastasis
Receptors, Cell Surface
Distinguishing synchronous and metachronous primary lung adenocarcinomas from adenocarcinomas with intrapulmonary metastasis is essential for optimal patient management. In this study, multiple lung adenocarcinomas occurring in the same patient were evaluated using comprehensive histopathologic evaluation supplemented with molecular analysis. The cohort included 18 patients with a total of 52 lung adenocarcinomas. Eleven patients had a new diagnosis of multiple adenocarcinomas in the same lobe (n=5) or different lobe (n=6). Seven patients had a history of lung cancer and developed multiple new tumors. The final diagnosis was made in resection specimens (n=49), fine needle aspiration (n=2), and biopsy (n=1). Adenocarcinomas were non-mucinous, and histopathologic comparison of tumors was performed. All tumors save for one were subjected to ALK gene rearrangement testing and targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Using clinical, radiologic, and morphologic features, a confident conclusion favoring synchronous/metachronous or metastatic disease was made in 65% of patients. Cases that proved challenging included ones with more than three tumors showing overlapping growth patterns and lacking a predominant lepidic component. Genomic signatures unique to each tumor were helpful in determining the relationship of multiple carcinomas in 72% of patients. Collectively, morphologic and genomic data proved to be of greater value and achieved a conclusive diagnosis in 94% of patients. Assessment of the genomic profiles of multiple lung adenocarcinomas complements the histological findings, enabling a more comprehensive assessment of synchronous, metachronous, and metastatic lesions in most patients, thereby improving staging accuracy. Targeted NGS can identify genetic alterations with therapeutic implications.