Public Release:  Lung cancer metastases may travel through airways to adjacent or distant lung tissue

American Roentgen Ray Society

A new study by researchers in Canada supports the hypothesis that lung cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma, may spread through the airways. The putative occurrence of intrapulmonary aerogenous metastasis of lung cancer has staging, management, and prognostic implications.

Lung cancer is the most common and most lethal cancer worldwide. Its prognosis remains poor: The 5-year survival rate is 6-18%. Adenocarcinoma has surpassed squamous cell carcinoma as the leading histologic type, accounting for 30% of all cases of lung cancer. Hematogenous spread (i.e., carried by blood) is the most common mechanism of intrapulmonary metastasis. Although local venous spread can occur, systemic spread with secondary lung involvement is much more common.

"Cumulative evidence suggests that intrapulmonary aerogenous spread may exist and is underrecognized," say the authors of "Aerogenous Metastases: A Potential Game Changer in the Diagnosis and Management of Primary Lung Adenocarcinoma," published in the December 2014 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. "Aerogenous metastases must be differentiated from multiple synchronous lesions in the spectrum of lung adenocarcinoma, [and] imaging features are helpful in differentiating possible aerogenous spread of tumor."

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Founded in 1900, ARRS is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States, and is an international forum for progress in radiology. The Society's mission is to improve health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills in radiology. ARRS achieves its mission through an annual scientific and educational meeting, publication of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and InPractice magazine, topical symposia and webinars, and print and online educational materials. ARRS is located in Leesburg, VA.

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