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Pulmonary giant cell carcinoma: the relation to smoking.

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Br. J. Cncer (189), 60,599-600t~ The acmillanPress Ld., 198 SHORT COMMUNICATION Pulmonary giant cell carcinoma: the relation to smoking R.H. Depuel & B.R. Ballard2 '8612 Bunnell Dr., Potomac, MD 20854; 2Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, MS 39216, USA. The relation of smoking to the occurrence of the most com- mon types of lung cancer has been examined and found positive in epidemiological studies. Types that have been causally ascribed to smoking in such studies have included squamous cell, small and large cell, and adenocarcinomas (US Dept of Health & Human Services, 1982; International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1986). However, rarer types, such as giant and alveolar cell carcinomas, have not been subject to separate study, not only because of their rarity, but because some pathologic classification systems for lung cancer include these types with other histologies (Yesner & Carter, 1982). While all histological types of lung cancer studied thus far have been related to tobacco use and no type has yet been found to be unrelated, there have been questions raised about the relationship of smoking to these rarer types. Giant cell carcinoma of the lung was first described by Nash and Stout in 1958. Some investigators classify it as a separate entity (Shin et al., 1986). On the other hand, some have included it as a sub-type of adenocarcinoma of the lung, while both the World Health Organization and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology include it with large cell undifferentiated carcinoma (Razzuk el al., 1970). These several schemes lead to non-uniform criteria in the literature for diagnosis of pulmonary giant cell carcinoma. A survey such as ours cannot resolve this difficulty and, therefore, we must accept the cases reported as genuine for our purpose. This survey is an attempt to provide some information bearing on the aetiological relationship of giant cell car- cinoma of the lung to smoking. We searched the literature, as indexed by M

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