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Clinicopathologic Features and Genetic Alterations in Adenocarcinoma In Situ and Minimally Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Lung: Long-Term Follow-Up Study of 121 Asian Patients



Adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA) are both small tumors with good prognosis after surgical resection, and most of them present as ground glass opacities (GGOs) on computed tomography (CT) screening. However, the differences in clinicopathologic features and genetic alterations between AIS and MIA are poorly elaborated, and few studies have evaluated the prognosis of MIA with different invasive components. Meanwhile, the histological features of lung lesions presenting as unchanged pure GGOs are barely understood.


Clinicopathologic features and genetic alterations of AIS (n = 59) and MIA (n = 62) presenting as GGOs were analyzed. Long-term preoperative observation (ranging from 2 to 1967 days) and postoperative follow-up (ranging from 0 to 92 months) was conducted.


The tumor size and consolidation/tumor ratio were significantly larger in the MIA cohort than those in the AIS cohort both on CT and microscopy images. Immunohistochemically, the expression of p53, Ki67, and cyclin D1 was higher in MIA than in AIS. The EGFR mutation rate was significantly higher in MIA, while other genetic alterations showed no differences. Six MIA cases showed recurrence or metachronous adenocarcinoma and all the cases with a predominant micropapillary invasive pattern demonstrated this feature.


The current CT measurements may be helpful in distinguishing AIS from MIA, but show limited utility in predicting the histology of unchanged pure GGOs. The invasive pattern may have an influence on the postoperative process of MIA; therefore, further studies are needed to evaluate the current diagnostic criteria and treatment strategy for MIA.

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We would like to thank Jingbo Yang and Xianliang Sha for technical support.


This work was supported by Science and Technology of Jilin Province, Jilin Province Key Laboratory (3D517K363429); The Role and Molecular Mechanism of EMT in the Resistance of ROS1-Positive Lung Cancer (20180101014JC/3D518PS23429); Jilin Province Department of Finance Project (3D5197398429, 3D5197464429); and Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (3A4197642429).

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Correspondence to Ping-Li Sun MD, PhD or Hongwen Gao MD, PhD.

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Jia, M., Yu, S., Cao, L. et al. Clinicopathologic Features and Genetic Alterations in Adenocarcinoma In Situ and Minimally Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Lung: Long-Term Follow-Up Study of 121 Asian Patients. Ann Surg Oncol (2020).

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