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Lights on HBME-1: the elusive biomarker in thyroid cancer pathology
  1. Giorgio Cazzaniga1,
  2. Davide Seminati1,
  3. Andrew Smith2,
  4. Isabella Piga2,
  5. Giulia Capitoli3,
  6. Mattia Garancini4,
  7. Vincenzo L'Imperio1,
  8. Nicola Fusco5,
  9. Fabio Pagni1
  1. 1Department of Medicine and Surgery, Pathology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy
  2. 2Proteomics and Metabolomics Unit, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy
  3. 3Bicocca Bioinformatics Biostatistics and Bioimaging B4 Center, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy
  4. 4Department of Surgery, ASST Monza - San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy
  5. 5Division of Pathology, IEO, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, Milano, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Giorgio Cazzaniga, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Lombardia, Italy; g.cazzaniga18{at}campus.unimib.it

Abstract

Among the different ancillary immunohistochemical tools that pathologists may employ in thyroid nodules, the so-called Hector Battifora’s ‘MEsothelioma’ 1 (HBME-1) staining is one of the most fascinating, since its real identity is currently unknown. In the present review, the different clinical applications of HBME-1 are analysed, with main emphasis on its role in thyroid pathology with overview on less impactful fields, such as haematopathology or mesothelial lesions. Different acceptable or good diagnostic performances were recorded for HBME-1 in thyroid pathology, being used in routine practice as one of the best tools to screen thyroid malignancy both in terms of sensitivity and specificity. From a speculative point of view, after many attempts to hunt the cryptic target antigen of this antibody, its identity still remains elusive. In this setting, the application of high-throughput technologies (mainly in situ proteomics) may be the exact route to improve the knowledge about the pathophysiology of HBME-1 and to finally unveil its true identity.

  • thyroid cancer
  • immunohistochemistry
  • cell differentiation

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the idea, were involved in writing the paper and had final approval of the submitted and published versions.

  • Funding This paper was funded by Regione Lombardia: PROGRAMMA DEGLI INTERVENTI PER LA RIPRESA ECONOMICA: SVILUPPO DI NUOVI ACCORDI DI COLLABORAZIONE CON LE UNIVERSITÀ PER LA RICERCA, L'INNOVAZIONE E IL TRASFERIMENTO TECNOLOGICO and Ricerca Finalizzata GR-2019-12368592.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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