RUNX1T1 Amplification Induces Small Cell Cancer
Technical Report,01 Sep 2016,31 Aug 2017
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland United States
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Small cell lung cancer SCLC is one of the deadliest cancers encountered by oncologists, with 5-year survival rates of less than 2 for patients with metastatic disease. Current thinking is that small cell lung cancer SCLC arises from a small population of specific neuroendocrine-like cells in the lung and is driven principally by concurrent mutation of two genes, TP53 and RB1. While this maybe true for the majority of every-day SCLC patients, there are two other clinically-important subgroups of cancer patients with small cell disease so-called combined small cell lung cancer and extra-pulmonary small cell cancer. In combined SCLC the tumors consist of both a SCLC component and a second subtype of lung cancer, such as adenocarcinoma, and it is believed that the second, more differentiated component has transformed into a small cell cancer. Similarly, extra-pulmonary small cell tumors have primary tumors that arise outside the lung, such as in the prostate or GI tract, and transform into a small cell cancer. So in reality the term small cell simply describes a microscopic appearance, or phenotype. Clinically, however, this small cell phenotype is of great importance because it is treated the same, regardless of whether it is pulmonary, combined or extra-pulmonary and predicts the same aggressive disease course with high mortality.
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