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Published online: 2024-07-04

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Pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma — diagnostic and therapeutic clinical dilemmas

Katarzyna Stencel1, Maciej Bryl1, Renata Langfort2


Pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) belongs to a heterogeneous group of lung cancers that show morphological, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical similarities but differ in etiopathogenesis, molecular profile, clinical course, prognosis, and treatment. 

The prognosis for pulmonary LCNEC is extremely poor, and median overall survival usually does not exceed one year. According to the 2015 classification of the World Health Organization, LCNECs belong to neuroendocrine tumors, along with typical and atypical carcinoid tumors and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The optimal therapeutic approach in LCNEC patients has not yet been determined. Accurate LCNEC diagnosis is crucial, and management algorithms should be developed on the basis of multicenter prospective clinical trials. 

This review presents the diagnosing criteria for large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma and reviews the effectiveness of available therapeutic options.

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