Positron emission tomography-computed tomography and 4-hydroxynonenal-histidine immunohistochemistry reveal differential onset of lipid peroxidation in primary lung cancer and in pulmonary metastasis of remote malignancies

Redox Biol. 2017 Apr:11:600-605. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


The Aim of the study was to reveal if PET-CT analysis of primary and of secondary lung cancer could be related to the onset of lipid peroxidation in cancer and in surrounding non-malignant lung tissue.

Methods: Nineteen patients with primary lung cancer and seventeen patients with pulmonary metastasis were involved in the study. Their lungs were analyzed by PET-CT scanning before radical surgical removal of the cancer. Specific immunohistochemistry for the major bioactive marker of lipid peroxidation, 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), was done for the malignant and surrounding non-malignant lung tissue using genuine monoclonal antibody specific for the HNE-histidine adducts.

Results: Both the intensity of the PET-CT analysis and the HNE-immunohistochemistry were in correlation with the size of the tumors analyzed, while primary lung carcinomas were larger than the metastatic tumors. The intensity of the HNE-immunohistochemistry in the surrounding lung tissue was more pronounced in the metastatic than in the primary tumors, but it was negatively correlated with the cancer volume determined by PET-CT. The appearance of HNE was more pronounced in non-malignant surrounding tissue than in cancer or stromal cells, both in case of primary and metastatic tumors.

Conclusions: Both PET-CT and HNE-immunohistochemistry reflect the size of the malignant tissue. However, lipid peroxidation of non-malignant lung tissue in the vicinity of cancer is more pronounced in metastatic than in primary malignancies and might represent the mechanism of defense against cancer, as was recently revealed also in case of human liver cancer.

Keywords: 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE); Cell growth regulation; Immunohistochemistry; Inflammation; Lipid peroxidation (LPO); Positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aldehydes / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography


  • Aldehydes
  • 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal