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Cancer in Interstitial Lung Disease

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:56pm

By Tatjana Peroš-Golubičić and Om P. Sharma


Cancer may complicate the course of any interstitial lung disease, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, progressive systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), Langerhans cell granulomatosis, asbestosis, and tuberculosis.

Nevertheless, how the previous injury in interstitial lung disease predisposes to lung cancer remains a mystery. Bronchiolar and epithelial hyperplasia, undifferentiated scar, and cuboidal transformation of the alveolar epithelium may predispose to malignant transformation. Inflammation, injury, repair, and fibrosis in interstitial diseases may cause genetic damage leading to cancer.

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