Systemic therapy of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: results of the first IASLC/ASCO consensus conference on bronchioloalveolar carcinoma.
INTRODUCTION: Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) is a subtype of adenocarcinoma of the lung with unique pathological, clinical, and molecular characteristics. METHODS: This consensus conference group reviewed studies performed specifically in BAC and data from patients with BAC who were included in clinical trials of all non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) subtypes. RESULTS: Although BAC as defined by the World Health Organization represents less than 5% of adenocarcinomas, as many as 20% of adenocarcinomas have BAC features. These latter tumors are more likely to have mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene and to be sensitive to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib. Although most patients are men and have a history of smoking cigarettes, proportionally more are women and never smokers. Patients with BAC are routinely treated with drugs and regimens appropriate for patients with all subtypes of adenocarcinoma of the lung; four studies have been performed specifically in this disease. CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to confirm or refute the assertion that the sensitivity of BAC to chemotherapy is different from that of other lung cancer histologic types. The unique clinical and molecular characteristics associated with BAC led this panel to conclude that future clinical trials should be designed specifically for persons with BAC. Recommendations for trial design and research questions are proposed.