Virchows Archiv

, Volume 471, Issue 1, pp 123–127 | Cite as

Optimized immunohistochemistry using the D5F3 antibody provides a reliable test for identification of ALK-positive lung adenocarcinomas

  • Gian Luca Rampioni Vinciguerra
  • Stefania Scarpino
  • Benedetto Pini
  • Claudia Cippitelli
  • Flavio Fochetti
  • Luigi Ruco
Brief Report


We used optimized immunohistochemistry (IHC) with the D5F3 antibody for detection of tumours in a prospective study of 307 pulmonary adenocarcinomas. Cases positive by IHC (1+, 2+, 3+) were further investigated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Of 307 cases, 22 (7.2%) were moderately intensely positive (2+/3+); 18 of these (82%) were also positive by FISH. Of the four IHC-positive/FISH-negative cases, one was unsuitable for FISH and three had abnormalities of the ALK gene. All cases with weak reactivity with D5F3 (1+) were FISH-negative. The FISH positive/IHC-positive cases with moderately intense reactivity had the typical clinicopathologic features of ALK-positive patients (younger age, p < 0.01; higher frequency in metastatic sites, p < 0.01; cribriform/mucinous/signet histology, p < 0.01; stage IV disease, p < 0.01). In conclusion, our findings indicate that optimized IHC using the D5F3 antibody provides a reliable and inexpensive test for identification of ALK-positive adenocarcinomas. Inclusion of this information in the pathology report at the time of the histological diagnosis might significantly shorten time to treatment.


Lung Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma ALK Immunohistochemistry D5F3 



This work has been supported by a grant from “Sapienza” University, Rome, Italy.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was conducted in accordance with the informed consent law of Italy.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gian Luca Rampioni Vinciguerra
    • 1
  • Stefania Scarpino
    • 1
  • Benedetto Pini
    • 1
  • Claudia Cippitelli
    • 1
  • Flavio Fochetti
    • 1
  • Luigi Ruco
    • 1
  1. 1.Pathology Unit, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant’Andrea HospitalSapienza UniversityRomeItaly

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