• Advances in the understanding of the process of carcinogenesis may allow prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer to be approached at the molecular level. Studies in our laboratory show that growth factors (transforming growth factor alpha), dominant oncogenes (HER-2/erb B2 and K-ras), and tumor suppressor genes (p53) are functionally important in the maintenance of the malignant phenotype of human non—small-cell lung cancer cells. Application of these findings to clinical problems include the identification of p53 mutations as markers for malignant change in Barrett's epithelium, the use of discordant p53 mutations to diagnose second primary malignant neoplasms in patients with head and neck cancer, and the potential for therapy by the reversal of genetic lesions.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1298-1302)