Molecular genetic abnormalities in the pathogenesis of human lung cancer

Pathol Oncol Res. 2001;7(1):6-13. doi: 10.1007/BF03032598.


In the past few years our knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer has significantly increased. There are several molecular mechanisms involved in the multistage carcinogenesis through which respiratory epithelial cells become preneoplastic and then invasive cancer. In this review we summarize some of these changes including, genomic alterations such as loss of heterozygosity and microsatellite alterations, autocrine-paracrine loops, alterations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, tumor angiogenesis, aberrant promoter methylation and inherited predisposition to lung cancer. Translation of these findings to the clinic is also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / metabolism
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor / genetics*
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Oncogenes / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Stem Cells
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Growth Substances
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution