Lung Cancer : The Leading Cause Of Cancer Essay

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortalities in the world. An astounding average of 1.6 million deaths occur due to lung cancer yearly (1). Lung cancer is classified into two types: small cell and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), where 85% of lung cancer cases are NSCLC. NSCLC has several different histologic subtypes, some of which are: squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Of the three, adenocarcinoma accounts for more than 50% of NSCLCs, making it the most common subtype (2). Adenocarcinoma is predominantly present in male smokers, however its occurrence in women, non-smokers, and young patients (below age 40) has been increasing (3). Consequently, genetic alterations / mutations that may be targeted to treat adenocarcinoma are being highly studied, which include: Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), Anaplastic Lymphoma Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (ALK), Thyroid Transcription Factor 1 (TTF1), Napsin A, and more (4). The EGFR mutations are most significantly associated with adenocarcinomas, specifically deletions in Exon 19, and / or point mutations in Exon 21 (5). Similarly, almost 5% of NSCLCs are associated with rearrangements in the ALK gene, resulting in abnormal protein expression that cause highly proliferating cells (6). In the same sense, TTF1 and Napsin A are also genetic alterations frequently associated with adenocarcinomas. Occasionally, the traditional hematoxylin-eosin (H&E)-stained slide examination

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