Lung carcinogenesis and fibrosis taken together: just coincidence?

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Purpose of review

The pathogenesis of lung cancer and pulmonary fibrotic disorders partially overlaps. This review focuses on the common features of the two disease categories, aimed at advancing our translational understanding of their pathobiology and at fostering the development of new therapies.

Recent findings

Both malignant and collagen-producing lung cells display enhanced cellular proliferation, increased resistance to apoptosis, a propensity for invading and distorting the lung parenchyma, as well as stemness potential. These characteristics are reinforced by the tissue microenvironment and inflammation seems to play an important adjuvant role in both types of disorders.


Unraveling the thread of the common and distinct characteristics of lung fibrosis and cancer might contribute to a more comprehensive approach of the pathobiology of both diseases and to a pathfinder for novel and personalized therapeutic strategies.

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