Thorax 58:892-900 doi:10.1136/thorax.58.10.892
  • Review series

Lung cancer • 9: Molecular biology of lung cancer: clinical implications

  1. K M Fong1,
  2. Y Sekido2,
  3. A F Gazdar3,
  4. J D Minna3
  1. 1The Prince Charles Hospital, Rode Road, Chermside, Brisbane 4032, Australia
  2. 2Department of Clinical Preventive Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Tsurumai 65, Showa-ku, Nagoya, 466-8560 Japan
  3. 3Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8593, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J D Minna
    Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research NB8.206, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6000 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-8593, USA;


    It has been hypothesised that clinically evident lung cancers have accumulated many different genetic or epigenetic abnormalities in oncogenes and/or tumour suppressor genes. This notion has important clinical ramifications. Recent developments in our knowledge of the molecular biology of lung cancer are reviewed, with particular reference to genetic abnormalities in tumour suppressor gene inactivation and overactivity of growth promoting oncogenes. These changes lead to the “hallmarks of lung cancer”. These hallmarks are the new rational targets for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lung cancer.