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Pulmonary Pathology Online

Pathology of Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Dr Sampurna Roy MD





Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, an uncommon subtype of non-small cell carcinomas was introduced as a distinct entity in the recently revised World Health Organization (WHO) classification of lung tumours.

The  histopathologic features distinguishing this tumour from other non-small cell lung cancers are a lobular growth pattern of small cells with moderately hyperchromatic nuclei, with no prominent nucleoli, and with scant cytoplasm, a high mitotic rate, and peripheral palisading.

Basaloid carcinoma may be present in a pure form  and the others may be of a mixed, but prominent, basaloid type associated with squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, or adenocarcinoma.

Immunohistochemical studies in a case of necropsy specimen indicated that the tumour was positive for keratin, vimentin, and S100, and negative for chromogranin A, cytokeratin CAM5.2, and bcl-2.

Ultrastructural study showed an absence of neurosecretory granules and the presence of some squamous and/or glandular differentiation.

This morphologic and immunologic phenotype suggests that basaloid carcinoma is derived from a pluripotent reserve cell or a basal bronchial epithelial stem cell.

Differential diagnosis include small cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine large cell, adenoid cystic carcinoma and poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma.

Basaloid carcinoma of the lung is a highly aggressive form of nonsmall cell lung cancers.

Even in stage I and II of basaloid carcinoma, a 5-year survival rate of only 15% has been reported. 


Further reading: 

Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma of the lung: a rare tumour with a rare clinical presentation.

Basaloid squamous-cell carcinoma of the lung in a young woman.

Basaloid carcinoma of the lung.

Basaloid carcinoma of the lung: a really dismal histologic variant?

Basaloid carcinoma, a rare primary lung neoplasm: report of a case and review of the literature. 

Basaloid-squamous cell carcinoma of the bronchus. Report of a case with review of the literature.

Basal cell (basaloid) carcinoma of the bronchi.

Basal cell (basaloid) carcinoma of the lung: a new morphologic and phenotypic entity with separate prognostic significance.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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