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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 315918, 11 pages
Review Article

Lung Cancer and Interstitial Lung Diseases: A Systematic Review

1Department of Pneumonology, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece
2Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Protection, Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100 Alexandroupolis, Greece

Received 12 March 2012; Revised 29 May 2012; Accepted 1 June 2012

Academic Editor: Edwin Chilvers

Copyright © 2012 Kostas Archontogeorgis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) represent a heterogeneous group of more than two hundred diseases of either known or unknown etiology with different pathogenesis and prognosis. Lung cancer, which is the major cause of cancer death in the developed countries, is mainly attributed to cigarette smoking and exposure to inhaled carcinogens. Different studies suggest a link between ILDs and lung cancer, through different pathogenetic mechanisms, such as inflammation, coagulation, dysregulated apoptosis, focal hypoxia, activation, and accumulation of myofibroblasts as well as extracellular matrix accumulation. This paper reviews current evidence on the association between lung cancer and interstitial lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis/polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and pneumoconiosis.