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The Grading System for Lung Adenocarcinoma: Brief Review of its Prognostic Performance and Future Directions.

Histologic grading of tumors is associated with prognosis in many organs. In the lung, the most recent grading system proposed by International association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) incorporates the predominant histologic pattern, as well as the presence of high-grade architectural patterns (solid, micropapillary, and complex glandular pattern) in proportions >20% of the tumor surface. This system has shown improved prognostic ability when compared with the prior grading system based on the predominant pattern alone, across different patient populations. Interobserver agreement is moderate to excellent, depending on the study. IASLC/WHO grading system has been shown to correlate with molecular alterations and PD-L1 expression in tumor cells. Recent studies interrogating gene expression has shown correlation with tumor grade and molecular alterations in the tumor microenvironment that can further stratify risk of recurrence. The use of machine learning algorithms to grade nonmucinous adenocarcinoma under this system has shown accuracy comparable to that of expert pulmonary pathologists. Future directions include evaluation of tumor grade in the context of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies, as well as the development of better prognostic indicators for mucinous adenocarcinoma.

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