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Semin Surg Oncol. 2003;21(3):205-19.

Translational research in lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


Recent research advances in cancer and molecular biology have furthered our understanding of the etiology and natural history of lung cancer. Through translational research, a growing understanding of the molecular changes that underlie cancer progression has contributed to the development of novel molecular approaches for early detection, further defining prognosis, refining treatment schedules, identifying new therapeutic targets, and identifying patients at risk for treatment-related toxicity from aggressive therapy, such as pneumonitis and esophagitis. In this article, we review progress in molecular/gene screening and prognosis, and we present a clinical study, based on preclinical research, in which we apply low-dose radiosensitizing paclitaxel for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); this resulted in superior local tumor control while keeping treatment toxicity low. We also review progress made in identifying cytokines: interleukin [IL]-1alpha, IL-6, and transforming growth factor [TGF] beta as markers for lung cancer treatment-related radiation pneumonitis. Finally, we summarize different targeted therapy approaches and discuss their application to clinical trials. Irrespective of the slow progress toward clinical improvements, we have gained much knowledge through translational research using new molecular and biologic technology. We believe that knowledge of lung cancer biology will continue to provide the foundation for future improvements in lung cancer treatment.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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