Large cell carcinoma of the lung

Large cell carcinoma of the lung is one of the histological types of non-small cell carcinomas of the lung.

It is thought to account for approximately 10% of bronchogenic carcinoma 1.

Patient presents with dyspnea, chronic cough and haemoptysis.

Microscopically large cell carcinoma is characterised by large nuclei/nucleoli with moderate amount of cytoplasm, hence the name large cell carcinoma. This undifferentiated tumour lacks distinctive features of small cell carcinoma, glandular or squamous differentiation. A histological subtype is large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma 3.

On immunophenotyping characteristic features include 2:

  • loss of staining with CK5/6
  • CK14 positive in most squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
  • lack of MOC 31 positive in most adenocarcinomas
  • positive immunoreactivity to EGFR, PDGFR-alpha and c-kit.

Large cell carcinoma of the lung typically presents as a large peripheral mass of solid attenuation and irregular margin. Focal necrosis can be present. Other characteristics include rapid growth and early metastasis. 

The histologic subtype of large cell neuroendocrine tumour has a more aggressive pattern and is associated with poorer prognosis. 


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Article Information

rID: 22405
System: Chest
Section: Pathology
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Large cell cancer of the lung
  • Large cell cancer of lung
  • Large cell carcinoma of lung
  • Large cell lung cancer
  • Large cell carcinomas (LCC) of the lung
  • Large cell carcinomas of the lung

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