Utility of D2-40, a novel mesothelial marker, in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma

Mod Pathol. 2005 Jan;18(1):105-10. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3800259.


Although immunohistochemistry has proven to be valuable in the differentiation of epithelioid mesothelioma from pulmonary or metastatic adenocarcinoma, no single antibody has demonstrated absolute sensitivity or specificity in making this distinction. Using immunohistochemical analysis with D2-40, a recently available monoclonal antibody that has been used as a lymphatic endothelial marker, we examined 53 cases of mesothelioma, 28 cases of reactive pleura, 30 cases of pulmonary adenocarcinoma, 35 cases of renal cell carcinoma, 26 cases of ovarian serous carcinoma, 16 cases of invasive breast carcinoma, 11 cases of prostatic adenocarcinoma, and seven cases of urothelial carcinoma. In addition, immunohistochemistry using calretinin, cytokeratin 5/6, and WT1 was performed on all cases of mesothelioma, pulmonary adenocarcinoma, ovarian serous carcinoma, and renal cell carcinoma. Predominantly, membranous D2-40 immunoreactivity was present in 51 of 53 (96%) mesotheliomas, 27 of 28 (96%) cases of reactive pleura, and 17 of 26 (65%) ovarian serous carcinomas; membranous staining was not seen in any other tumors examined. Compared to other immunohistochemical markers of mesothelioma, D2-40 was as sensitive as calretinin and more sensitive than cytokeratin 5/6 and WT1. We conclude that D2-40 immunoreactivity is sensitive for cells of mesothelial origin, and may be useful in the differential diagnosis of epithelioid malignant mesothelioma vs adenocarcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis*
  • Mesothelioma / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • monoclonal antibody D2-40
  • oncofetal antigens