E-cadherin and calretinin: a useful combination of immunochemical markers for differentiation between mesothelioma and metastatic adenocarcinoma

Histopathology. 1998 Mar;32(3):209-16. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.1998.00349.x.


Aims: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of combinations of antibodies in the differential diagnosis of metastatic carcinomas and mesotheliomas in pleural lesions.

Methods and results: The specificity and sensitivity of the commercially available antibodies Ber-EP4, MOC-31, CEA, B72.3, CD15, E-cadherin and calretinin were evaluated using an indirect immunoperoxidase staining technique. This technique was applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of pleural lesions. Twenty-one patients with metastatic carcinoma (MC) and 20 patients with malignant mesothelioma (MM) were included. The combination E-cadherin/calretinin had the highest specificity (MC 100% and MM 91%) and sensitivity (MM 100% and MC 91%) considering both categories of tumours.

Conclusions: The combination of E-cadherin/calretinin appears to be a suitable panel for distinguishing metastatic carcinomas and mesotheliomas in pleural lesions. The additional value of other markers is limited.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cadherins / immunology
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Calbindin 2
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis*
  • Mesothelioma / metabolism*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / secondary
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / immunology
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CALB2 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Calbindin 2
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G