Advances in the biology of non-small cell lung cancer

A. F. Gazdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We have initiated an in-depth, comprehensive study of non-SCLC in the expectation that improvements in clinical management and diagnosis of lung cancer patients will follow. We have established and characterized over 30 such tumors in long-term culture and as xenografts in athymic nude mice. These models usually retain the morphologic and other properties of the tumors from which they were derived. With the use of fully defined medium, most SCLC and adenocarcinomas can be established as long-term cultures. The growth conditions for squamous cell carcinomas have not been fully defined, and the success rate is low. In contrast to SCLC, there is considerable heterogeneity of non-SCLC tumors, with more than 12 phenotypes identified among the first 30 lines established. In addition, there is considerable overlap of properties, both within the non-SCLC types as well as between non-SCLC and SCLC. These findings indicate a common origin for all lung cancers. Radiation and drug sensitivity studies suggest that cell line data may correlate with clinical responses. Clinical protocols utilizing our ability to culture and drug test individual tumors are currently under way. They represent the first steps in a combined clinico-laboratory approach to the management of lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277S-283S
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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