• fine needle aspiration;
  • immunocytochemistry;
  • cell blocks;
  • cytomorphology;
  • non-small cell lung cancer;
  • microRNA

A. Fassina, R. Cappellesso, F. Simonato, C. Lanza, A. Marzari and M. Fassan

Fine needle aspiration of non-small cell lung cancer: current state and future perspective

The emerging treatment revolution determined by the advent of new targeted therapies requires accurate tumour subtyping as a mandatory step in the clinical workup of patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). As a result of advanced and inoperable disease or poor performance status, in many patients, minimally invasive procedures must be employed to obtain diagnostic material. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a valid and widely employed alternative to either tru-cut or open-sky biopsy. Indeed, cytological specimens are suitable for techniques such as immunocytochemistry, mutation and microRNA analysis, and may present advantages over small biopsies especially if cell blocks are prepared and attention is paid to cytomorphology and pre-analytic management of specimens at the time they are collected. These will allow the adequate stratification of patients into different diagnostic and prognostic classes.