Clinical and molecular characteristics of pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma

Jae Kyeom Sim, Sang Mi Chung, Jong Hyun Choi, Jee Youn Oh, Seung Heon Lee, Je Hyeong Kim, Kyung Hoon Min, Gyu Young Hur, Jae Jeong Shim, Kyung Ho Kang, Bong Kyung Shin, Ju Han Lee, Sung Yong Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Background/Aims: Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma (PSC) is a poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that contains components of spindle or giant cells. Owing to its low prevalence, there are insufficient data regarding its clinical features, therapeutic strategies and prognosis. Methods: The medical records of 26 patients diagnosed with PSC from January 2009 to June 2015 were reviewed and analyzed for clinicopathological characteristics, treatment modality, and outcomes. Results: The median age was 69.5 years. Twenty-three patients (88%) were male. Twenty-four patients (92%) were smokers. The median time from symptom onset to diagnosis was one month. Eighteen patients (69%) were diagnosed at an advanced stage. Pleomorphic carcinoma was the most common subtype, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation was positive in two of 11 patients. Among 13 patients tested for programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunohis-tochemistry assay, eight showed high expression of PD-L1. The median overall survival (OS) of all patients was 9.5 months. In total, 12 patients were treated with chemotherapy: nine with platinum-based doublet therapy, two with tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and one with docetaxel. Seven patients showed partial response or stable disease. The median OS and progression-free survival of patients who received chemotherapy were 8.7 and 2.8 months, respectively. Conclusions: PSC was more common in males, smokers, and the elderly, with worse prognosis than ordinary NSCLC; chemotherapy response was favorable, and EGFR mutation status and PD-L1 expression may offer more therapeutic options.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-744
    Number of pages8
    JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul


    • Epidermal growth factor
    • Programmed death ligand 1
    • Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma
    • Receptor
    • Treatment outcome

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Internal Medicine


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