Tumors of the respiratory tract observed at the German Primate Center, 1978-1994

J Med Primatol. 1996 Dec;25(6):424-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.1996.tb00039.x.


Eight spontaneous pulmonary tumors (four bronchiolar tubular adenomas, two bronchiolar adenocarcinomas, two squamous-cell carcinomas) occurred in a total of 54 adult tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) of the GPC colonies between 1978 and 1994. The adenomas and adenocarcinomas consisted of tubularly or trabecularly arranged cuboidal to cylindrical cells interspersed with some PAS-positive goblet cells, thus resembling the epithelial lining of respiratory bronchioles of tree shrews. The two squamous-cell carcinomas probably originated from the pulmonary alveoles. Three more pulmonary tumors (one small-cell carcinoma, one bronchial adenoma, one squamous-cell carcinoma) developed in 409 adult callitrichids of the GPC colonies during the same period, and one more bronchial adenoma was observed in a common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) of another colony located in Göttingen. With regard to the adenomas and squamous-cell carcinomas, a similar cellular origin with the three shrews is assumed. The small-cell carcinoma possibly developed from the bronchial epithelium, provided a pathogenesis parallel to that of human small-cell carcinoma is suggested. Four of the tree shrew pulmonary adenomas/adenocarcinomas and the small-cell Ca were macroscopically visible as yellowish-grey nodules of 1 mm x 1 mm to 15 mm x 15 mm diameter, predominantly involving the main lobes (2 x right main lobes, 2 x left main lobes, 1 x all lobes). The pulmonary tumors of the other animals were below macroscopical detectability.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / veterinary
  • Adenoma / epidemiology
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Callithrix
  • Callitrichinae
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / veterinary
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / veterinary
  • Cebidae
  • Cercopithecidae
  • Colobus
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Primate Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Strepsirhini
  • Tupaia