Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease clinically, biologically, histologically, and molecularly. Understanding the molecular causes of this heterogeneity, which might reflect changes occurring in different classes of epithelial cells or different molecular changes occurring in the same target lung epithelial cells, is the focus of current research. Identifying the genes and pathways involved, determining how they relate to the biological behavior of lung cancer, and their utility as diagnostic and therapeutic targets are important basic and translational research issues. This article reviews current information on the key molecular steps in lung cancer pathogenesis, their timing, and clinical implications.
Published by Elsevier Inc.