The reactivity of the HNK-1 monoclonal antibody that, besides a subset of hematopoietic cells with natural killer activity, also detects neuroectodermal cells, was screened on 153 human tumors. Immunoperoxidase staining of paraffin sections revealed that HNK-1 detects neuroectoderm-derived cancers and tumors with endocrine activity. Because the antigen detected by HNK-1 is well conserved in paraffin sections, this antibody is of potential diagnostic value in routine histopathology and might help to elucidate the histogenesis of some poorly understood tumors.


This work was supported by Grant 83D7 from the Institut Gustave Roussy and Grant 2098 from the Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer.

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