Progress in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of human lung cancer

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Aug 19;1378(1):F21-59. doi: 10.1016/s0304-419x(98)00010-9.


We review the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer including alterations in dominant oncogenes, recessive oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes, alterations in growth regulatory signaling pathways, abnormalities in other pathways, such as apoptosis, autocrine and paracrine growth stimulatory loops, angiogenesis, and host immune responses, other mechanisms of genetic changes, such as microsatellite and methylation alterations, and the potential for inherited predisposition to lung cancer. These changes are related to multistage carcinogenesis involving preneoplastic lesions, and lung development and differentiation. The translational applications of these findings for developing new ways of early detection, prevention, treatment, and prognosis of lung cancer are 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
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Stem Cells
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Growth Substances
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution