Ninety four pulmonary neoplasms were examined immunocytochemically with two or three different monoclonal antibodies against the intermediate filament proteins cytokeratin, neurofilament, vimentin, and desmin. In normal tissues these have a different and non-overlapping distribution, and it is generally believed that tumours maintain the same pattern of expression as the tissues from which they arise. In this report, however, the coexpression of at least two (and less commonly three or four) different intermediate filaments was seen in 40% (37 of 94) of the cases of lung cancer. These results, especially if confirmed in other common types of human malignancy, have considerable implications for the use of anti-intermediate filament antibodies in diagnostic pathology.
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