Lung Tumors Share Same Genetic Background

Multicentric carcinogenesis with same genetic mutation seems to occur in lung adenocarcinoma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Multicentric carcinogenesis is the technical term for the formation of multiple cancerous tumors. This phenomenon can occur in lung cancer. Researchers have recently uncovered important genetic information about this process.

New data suggests that multiple tumors in lung adenocarcinoma have the same genetic make-up.

Furthermore, two genes that promote cancer - the epidermal growth factor receptor (iEGFR) and KRAS genes, which aren't present at the same time - can help to define the tumor type and its ability to duplicate itself.

"Learn what kind of genetic testing you should have."

This data, presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer: Biology, Therapy and Personalized Medicine, comes from studies conducted at the National Kyushu Cancer Center in Fukuoka, Japan.

"What the investigators have found is that many lung tumors that occur at the same time have the same genetic background, and that might be important in the management of those cancers," Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D. professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, told dailyRx in a telephone interview from the conference.

Researchers used high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) to find small-sized single and multiple lung tumors.

Kenji Sugio, M.D., Ph.D., research director and chief of thoracic oncology at the National Kyushu Cancer Center Sugio and his colleagues analyzed the EGFR and KRAS genes and the expression (presence) of another gene known as the EML4-ALK fusion gene in nine patients with lung cancer.

Sugio reports that in five of the nine patients, their multiple tumors showed the same genetic mutation.

“The information on genetic status of multiple lung cancers is valuable and might be able to presume genetic backgrounds for carcinogenesis of the lung,” Dr. Sugio said.

“We expected a high incidence rate of the same genetic mutation in synchronous multiple lung adenocarcinomas because the whole lung of patients with lung cancer is thought to be under an almost uniform environment of carcinogen,” Dr. Sugio concluded.

Dr. Hirsch adds that as more genetic screening is implemented, more of this type of information regarding tumor genetics will be revealed to improve the treatment of lung cancer.

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Review Date: 
January 9, 2012
Last Updated:
January 15, 2012