Mucinous Bronchioalveolar Carcinoma

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Li Liu, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I need information on Mucinous Bronchioalveolar Carcinoma.

Can you help?  

Li Liu, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistant, responds:

Dear O:
Thank you for your interest and question.

Bronchoalveolar carcinoma is one of the subtypes of adenocarcinoma in non-small cell carcinoma of the lung. It represents approximately 10 to 25% of the adenocarcinoma of lung cases. Cigarette smoking does not appear to correlate with this type of cancer.

It may present as a solitary peripheral nodule, a multifocal lesion, or a rapidly progressive pneumonic form that appears as a diffuse infiltrate on chest radiograph. Stage by stage, the management and prognosis are essentially the same as other types of non-small cell lung cancer.

Surgery is the preferred treatment if the tumor can be resected. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used in non-operable cases. Prognostic factors are stage, the presence of signs and symptoms, diffuse malignant invasion, and mucin-producing tumors (). Dr. Dumont and his colleagues reported the outcomes in 105 surgically treated patients with bronchoalveolar carcinoma (Chest 1998; 113(2):391-395). Mucinous differentiation was present in 43% of patients. Overall survival was 89% at 1 year, 48% at 5 years and 39% at 10 years. Patients with diffuse lesions had a worse prognosis that those with nodular lesions.

You should consult your oncologist for the best possible treatment plan for you and specifics on your own case.