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Research explores lung cancer among pediatric cancer patients
Date:11/1/2010

Because primary lung adenocarcinoma is exceedingly rare in the pediatric population, it is difficult to properly classify certain lung tumors in children and adolescents. While anecdotal reports of pediatric patients with lung cancer lesions exist, little research has been conducted to link the disease in children to similar pulmonary malignancies in adults. Through an assessment of clinical, tissue-based and molecular data for pediatric lung cancer, research published in the November edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology determined that pulmonary lesions found in young patients with pediatric cancers can be histologically indistinguishable from lung adenocarcinoma seen in adults. Findings indicate that lung adenocarcinomas could occur prior to chemotherapy treatment for a second cancer, and some tumors display gene mutations in EGFR and KRAS this is the first documentation of these mutations in pediatric adenocarcinoma.

Until now, it had seemed reasonable to consider these rare pulmonary tumors as secondary malignancies in children, caused by treatment for other cancers. In this newly published study (the largest study of its kind), however, the tumors of eight patients between the age of 10 and 24 years, all never smokers, were evaluated in terms of histopathologic and molecular data.

Researchers determined that these tumors are (1) adenocarcinomas ranging from bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), or adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), to invasive histologic patterns and (2) may be present before administration of chemotherapy for the underlying malignancy, and therefore are not always or necessarily secondary malignancies, as had been previously believed. This study clearly documents the invasive patterns of lung cancer in pediatric cancer patients and suggests that the simultaneous presence of a primary malignancy and pulmonary adenocarcinoma may reflect more than coincidence.

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Contact: Kaitlin Doody
kdoody@spectrumscience.com
202-587-2553
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Source:Eurekalert

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