Spread Through Air Spaces (STAS) is a form of invasion characterized by neoplastic cell dissemination in the lung parenchyma surrounding the outer edge of the tumor. Its possible artifactual origin is widely debated in the literature. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential impact of gross sampling procedures in causing STAS. A prospective series of 51 surgical lung specimens was collected (35 adenocarcinomas, 68.6%; 13 squamous cell carcinomas, 25.5%; 2 large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, 3.9%; 1 atypical carcinoid, 2%). The fresh tissue was sectioned with a new and clean blade for each cut, to obtain a tissue slice comprising the upper lung parenchyma, the tumor, and the lower parenchyma. This slice was cut in half and separately processed. The same procedure was repeated in the residual (specular) specimen after formalin fixation. STAS was identified in 33/51 (64.7%) cases, the predominant pattern being cluster formation (29 cases, 87.9%), the remaining 4 cases having single-cell invasion. Comparing STAS detection in upper and lower lung parenchyma areas (ie, before and after the blade crossed the tumor), no significant preferential STAS distribution was observed, indeed being almost overlapping (60.6% and 63.6% for fresh and 61.3% and 65.6% for fixed tissues, respectively). There was no difference between STAS occurrence in freshly cut and fixed corresponding samples. These findings indicate that STAS is not a pathologist-related artifactual event because of knife transportation of tumor cells during gross specimen handling and support the notion that it is a phenomenon preexisting to surgical tissue processing.

Gross Specimen Handling Procedures Do Not Impact the Occurrence of Spread through Air Spaces (STAS) in Lung Cancer

Metovic J.
First
;
Falco E. C.;Vissio E.;Volante M.;Righi L.;Papotti M.
Last
2021

Abstract

Spread Through Air Spaces (STAS) is a form of invasion characterized by neoplastic cell dissemination in the lung parenchyma surrounding the outer edge of the tumor. Its possible artifactual origin is widely debated in the literature. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential impact of gross sampling procedures in causing STAS. A prospective series of 51 surgical lung specimens was collected (35 adenocarcinomas, 68.6%; 13 squamous cell carcinomas, 25.5%; 2 large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas, 3.9%; 1 atypical carcinoid, 2%). The fresh tissue was sectioned with a new and clean blade for each cut, to obtain a tissue slice comprising the upper lung parenchyma, the tumor, and the lower parenchyma. This slice was cut in half and separately processed. The same procedure was repeated in the residual (specular) specimen after formalin fixation. STAS was identified in 33/51 (64.7%) cases, the predominant pattern being cluster formation (29 cases, 87.9%), the remaining 4 cases having single-cell invasion. Comparing STAS detection in upper and lower lung parenchyma areas (ie, before and after the blade crossed the tumor), no significant preferential STAS distribution was observed, indeed being almost overlapping (60.6% and 63.6% for fresh and 61.3% and 65.6% for fixed tissues, respectively). There was no difference between STAS occurrence in freshly cut and fixed corresponding samples. These findings indicate that STAS is not a pathologist-related artifactual event because of knife transportation of tumor cells during gross specimen handling and support the notion that it is a phenomenon preexisting to surgical tissue processing.
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gross handling; lung cancer; pathology; STAS; Humans; Lung Neoplasms; Neoplasm Invasiveness; Specimen Handling; Artifacts
Metovic J.; Falco E.C.; Vissio E.; Santoro F.; Delsedime L.; Massa F.; Pittaro A.; Osella-Abate S.; Cassoni P.; Volante M.; Righi L.; Papotti M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1785934
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