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Surg Today. 2014 Jun;44(6):1004-12. doi: 10.1007/s00595-013-0636-z. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Worldwide trend of increasing primary adenocarcinoma of the lung.

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Department of Chest Surgery, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, 2-16-1 Sugao, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 216-8511, Japan,


The four major histological types of lung cancer are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SQ), large cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma. Over the past few decades, the incidence of lung adenocarcinoma has increased gradually in most countries as the most frequently occurring histological type, displacing SQ. Adenocarcinoma is the predominant type of lung cancer among lifelong non-smokers and among females. Especially in East Asian countries, the cause(s) of the increase in adenocarcinomas are not clear. Several genetic mutations specific to lung adenocarcinomas have been found, representing attractive targets for molecular therapy. Recently, the pathological classification of lung adenocarcinoma was revised by integrating the newer clinical and biological knowledge concerning this prevailing type. Additional epidemiological, pathological and genetic studies are required to better understand this type of lung cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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