Lung cancer pathophysiology

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lung cancer Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Lung cancer from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic study of choice

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings



Echocardiography and Ultrasound

CT scan


Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Lung cancer pathophysiology On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Lung cancer pathophysiology

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Lung cancer pathophysiology

CDC on Lung cancer pathophysiology

Lung cancer pathophysiology in the news

Blogs on Lung cancer pathophysiology

Directions to Hospitals Treating Lung cancer

Risk calculators and risk factors for Lung cancer pathophysiology

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kim-Son H. Nguyen M.D. Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2] Dildar Hussain, MBBS [3] Michael Maddaleni, B.S.


The pathophysiology of lung cancer includes both genetic and environmental factors. Causality of the majority of lung cancer is linked to tobacco usage. Carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoking may result in DNA mis-replication and mutation. Smoking starts a cascade of events that leads to cancer development, even decades after smoking cessation. Besides smokers, patients with the history of prior respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract cancer comprise a high-risk population. Other environmental factors include radon, asbestos, viral infections, and states of chronic lung inflammation, all of which may predispose to cellular damage and DNA mutations that predispose to the development of lung cancers.


The pathophysiology of lung cancer includes both genetic and environmental factors.[1][2][3]

Lung Cancer Pathogenesis

Familial lung cancer
Multistep tumorigenesis
Accumulation of Molecular Abnormalities

Field of Injury and Field Cancerization



Although genetics play a significant role in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, it is thought that exposure to environmental risk factors plays an equally important role in the development of lung cancer. The main causes of lung cancer include carcinogens (such as those present in tobacco smoke), ionizing radiation, and viral infections. Chronic exposure results in cumulative alterations to the DNA in the tissue lining the bronchi of the lungs (the bronchial epithelium). Irreversible DNA changes following exposure to carcinogens are directly associated with the development of lung cancer.[16]


Radon Gas

The association of radon gas exposure to lung cancer is described below:[27][28]



Infection and Inflammation


  1. Kanwal, Madiha; Ding, Xiao-Ji; Cao, Yi (2017). "Familial risk for lung cancer". Oncology Letters. 13 (2): 535–542. doi:10.3892/ol.2016.5518. ISSN 1792-1074.
  2. Kadara, H.; Scheet, P.; Wistuba, I. I.; Spira, A. E. (2016). "Early Events in the Molecular Pathogenesis of Lung Cancer". Cancer Prevention Research. 9 (7): 518–527. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-15-0400. ISSN 1940-6207.
  3. Raso, Maria Gabriela; Wistuba, Ignacio I. (2007). "Molecular Pathogenesis of Early-Stage Non-small Cell Lung Cancer and a Proposal for Tissue Banking to Facilitate Identification of New Biomarkers". Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2 (7): S128–S135. doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e318074fe42. ISSN 1556-0864.
  4. Wistuba II, Gazdar AF (2006). "Lung cancer preneoplasia". Annu Rev Pathol. 1: 331–48. doi:10.1146/annurev.pathol.1.110304.100103. PMID 18039118.
  5. Devarakonda, Siddhartha; Morgensztern, Daniel; Govindan, Ramaswamy (2015). "Genomic alterations in lung adenocarcinoma". The Lancet Oncology. 16 (7): e342–e351. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00077-7. ISSN 1470-2045.
  6. Kadara H, Scheet P, Wistuba II, Spira AE (July 2016). "Early Events in the Molecular Pathogenesis of Lung Cancer". Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 9 (7): 518–27. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-15-0400. PMID 27006378.
  7. Auerbach, Oscar; Stout, A. P.; Hammond, E. Cuyler; Garfinkel, Lawrence (1961). "Changes in Bronchial Epithelium in Relation to Cigarette Smoking and in Relation to Lung Cancer". New England Journal of Medicine. 265 (6): 253–267. doi:10.1056/NEJM196108102650601. ISSN 0028-4793.
  8. Fong, KM (Oct 2003). "Lung cancer. 9: Molecular biology of lung cancer: clinical implications". Thorax. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. 58 (10): 892–900. PMID 14514947. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  9. Aviel-Ronen, S (Jul 2006). "K-ras mutations in non-small-cell lung carcinoma: a review". Clinical Lung Cancer. Cancer Information Group. 8 (1): 30–38. PMID 16870043. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  10. Karachaliou N, Mayo C, Costa C, Magrí I, Gimenez-Capitan A, Molina-Vila MA, Rosell R (2013). "KRAS mutations in lung cancer". Clin Lung Cancer. 14 (3): 205–14. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2012.09.007. PMID 23122493.
  11. Devereux, TR (Mar 1996). "Molecular mechanisms of lung cancer. Interaction of environmental and genetic factors". Chest. American College of Chest Physicians. 109 (Suppl. 3): 14S–19S. PMID 8598134. Retrieved 2007-08-11. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  12. Engels, EA (Jul 2007). "Systematic evaluation of genetic variants in the inflammation pathway and risk of lung cancer". Cancer Research. American Association for Cancer Research. 67 (13): 6520–6527. PMID 17596594. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  13. Wenzlaff, AS (Dec 2005). "CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 polymorphisms and risk of lung cancer among never smokers: a population-based study". Carcinogenesis. Oxford University Press. 26 (12): 2207–2212. PMID 16051642. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  14. Son, JW (Sep 2006). "Polymorphisms in the caspase-8 gene and the risk of lung cancer". Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics. 169 (2): 121–127. PMID 16938569. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  15. Yin, J (May 2007). "The DNA repair gene XRCC1 and genetic susceptibility of lung cancer in a northeastern Chinese population". Lung Cancer. 56 (2): 153–160. PMID 17316890. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  16. Dela Cruz CS, Tanoue LT, Matthay RA (2011). "Lung cancer: epidemiology, etiology, and prevention". Clin. Chest Med. 32 (4): 605–44. doi:10.1016/j.ccm.2011.09.001. PMC 3864624. PMID 22054876.
  17. Hecht SS (1999). "Tobacco smoke carcinogens and lung cancer". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 91 (14): 1194–210. PMID 10413421.
  18. Kluger, R. (1996). Ashes to ashes: America's hundred-year cigarette war, the public health, and the unabashed triumph of Philip Morris. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  19. Proctor, Robert (2000). The Nazi war on cancer. Princeton, N.J. Oxford: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691070513.
  20. Morabia, Alfredo (2012). "Quality, originality, and significance of the 1939 "Tobacco consumption and lung carcinoma" article by Mueller, including translation of a section of the paper". Preventive Medicine. 55 (3): 171–177. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.05.008. ISSN 0091-7435.
  21. Mueller F. Tabakmissbrauch und Lungencarcinom. Z. Krebsforsch. 1939;49:57–85.
  22. Wynder, E. L. (1994). Prevention and cessation of tobacco use: Obstacles and challenges. J. Smoking-Related Dis. 5(Suppl. 1), 3–8.
  23. Hanspeter Witschi ITEH and Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616
  24. Hecht, S (Oct 2003). "Tobacco carcinogens, their biomarkers and tobacco-induced cancer". Nature Reviews. Cancer. Nature Publishing Group. 3 (10): 733–744. doi:10.1038/nrc1190. PMID 14570033. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
  25. Nordquist, LT (Aug 2004). "Improved survival in never-smokers vs current smokers with primary adenocarcinoma of the lung". Chest. American College of Chest Physicians. 126 (2): 347–351. PMID 15302716. Retrieved 2007-08-10. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  26. Peto R, R (2006). Mortality from smoking in developed countries 1950–2000: Indirect estimates from National Vital Statistics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-262535-7. Retrieved 2007-08-10. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  27. Catelinois, O (May 2006). "Lung Cancer Attributable to Indoor Radon Exposure in France: Impact of the Risk Models and Uncertainty Analysis". Environmental Health Perspectives. National Institute of Environmental Health Science. 114 (9): 1361–1366. doi:10.1289/ehp.9070. PMID 16966089. Retrieved 2007-08-10. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  28. University of Minnesota.
  29. Järvholm, Bengt; Åström, Evelina (2014). "The Risk of Lung Cancer After Cessation of Asbestos Exposure in Construction Workers Using Pleural Malignant Mesothelioma as a Marker of Exposure". Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 56 (12): 1297–1301. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000258. ISSN 1076-2752.
  30. Leroux, C (Mar–Apr 2007). "Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus (JSRV): from virus to lung cancer in sheep". Veterinary Research. 38 (2): 211–228. PMID 17257570. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  31. Palmarini, M (November 2001). "Retrovirus-induced ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma, an animal model for lung cancer". Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Oxford University Press. 93 (21): 1603–1614. PMID 11698564. Retrieved 2007-08-11. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  32. Cheng, YW (Apr 2001). "The association of human papillomavirus 16/18 infection with lung cancer among nonsmoking Taiwanese women". Cancer Research. American Association for Cancer Research. 61 (7): 2799–2803. PMID 11306446. Retrieved 2007-08-11. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  33. Zheng, H (May 2007). "Oncogenic role of JC virus in lung cancer". Journal of Pathology. 212 (3): 306–315. PMID 17534844. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  34. Giuliani, L (Sep 2007). "Detection of oncogenic viruses (SV40, BKV, JCV, HCMV, HPV) and p53 codon 72 polymorphism in lung carcinoma". Lung Cancer. 57 (3): 273–281. PMID 17400331. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  35. 35.0 35.1 Eric A Engels.11/30/11. Inflammation in the development of lung cancer:epidemiological evidence.Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy.Apr.2008.p605


Template:WikiDoc Sources