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Birgit Guldhammer Skov

Classification of non small cell lung cancer


Until recently, the histologic subtyping of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) was not clinically or therapeutically important, because of lack of differential treatment options for NSCLC subtypes. The emergence of treatments with differential activity (e.g., pemetrexed) or limited indication (e.g., bevacizumab) in subtypes of NSCLC has placed a new emphasis on the importance of accurate subtyping. Furthermore, the advent of targeted therapy and the discovery of potentially predictive and prognostic markers especially in lung adenocarcinomas also make an accurate and reproducible subtyping of NSCLC clinical relevant. Resection rates for lung cancer are about 20%. Thus, relatively few cases undergo complete histologic examination, and the majority of patients are managed on the basis of a diagnosis made on single small tumor biopsies or cytologic samples.
Subtyping on sparse material from NSCLC on morphology only in difficult. In 2011 a new classification of NSCLC was introduced with special emphasis on adenocarcinomas.  Furthermore diagnostic critera for small biopsies and cytology was provided. Also the strategic management of tissue, particularly for small biopsies and cytology samples to maximize high-quality tissue available for molecular studies was highlighted. The presentation will focus on the classification of NSCLC with special interest in the problems with cases with sparse material.


Birgit Guldhammer Skov, born July 6, 1955, Co-chair, DrMsi, Dept. of Pathology, Rigshospitalet, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark


1981 Medical doctor, 1994 Specialist in pathology and cytology, 1995 Thesis: Accuracy and reproducibility of immuno­histochemistry in the diagnosis of pulmonary neoplasms. Copenhagen 1995, 1-30


Feb1981-April 1985 Resident in departments of surgery, medicine, neurology, and paediatrics.

Apr 1985-Oct.1996 Resident in departments of pathology

Oct.1996-June 1998 Co-chair, Dept. of Pathology, specialist in pulmonary pathology, Hillerød Hospital

June 1998- May 2010 Co-chair, Dept. of Pathology, specialist in pulmonary pathology, Herlev Hospital, division Gentofte

May 2010- January 2012 Co-chair, Dept. of Pathology, specialist in pulmonary pathology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen.

Januar 2012 Co-chair, Dept. of Pathology, specialist in pulmonary pathology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.


Since 1991 I have taught pathology at various institutions, including the medical faculty (University of Copenhagen) and the education of Danish pathologists.

Since 2002 I have been assoc. professor at University of Copenhagen.

I am responsible for courses in Pulmonary Pathology for doctors under education in Pathology in which courses I take the majority of lectures.

I have been primary supervisor for 1 PhD student and for 4 bachelors/candidates.


Molecular characteristics of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). –prospektiv, populations based, danish investigation of the incidence af EGFR mutations related to targeted therapy.


More than 60 publications, primarily in lung cancer.


More than 25 International congresses (in lung cancer and pathology), conferences, symposia and workshops during the last 10 year.

More the 20 oral and poster presentations at International congresses/meetings.

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