Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that start off in one or both lungs; usually in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells do not develop into healthy lung tissue, they divide rapidly and form tumors. As tumors become larger and more numerous, they undermine the lung’s ability to provide the bloodstream with oxygen. Tumors that remain in one place and do not appear to spread are known as “benign tumors”.
Malignant tumors, the more dangerous ones, spread to other parts of the body either through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. Metastasis refers to cancer spreading beyond its site of origin to other parts of the body. When cancer spreads it is much harder to treat successfully.
Primary lung cancer originates in the lungs, while secondary lung cancer starts somewhere else in the body, metastasizes, and reaches the lungs. They are considered different types of cancers and are not treated in the same way. According to the National Cancer Institute, by the end of 2015 there will have been 221,200 new lung cancer diagnoses and 158,040 lung-cancer related deaths in the USA.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 7.6 million deaths globally each year are caused by cancer; cancer represents 13% of all global deaths. As seen below, lung cancer is by far the number one cancer killer.
TOTAL DEATHS WORLDWIDE CAUSED BY CANCER EACH YEAR
Lung cancer - 1,370,000 deaths
Stomach cancer - 736,000 deaths
Liver cancer - 695,000 deaths
Colorectal cancer - 608,000 deaths
Breast cancer - 458,000 deaths
Cervical cancer - 275,000 deaths
In Colombia, for 2011, the lung cancer mortality rate was 8.61 per 100,000 population, showing a tendency to increase in the period 2000-2004. The highest mortality rates are found in the Zona Cafetera of the country, which includes the northern part of the Valle del Cauca.
From the year 2014 the Hospital San Ignacio the Javerian Center of Oncology and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, formed the interdisciplinary working group: "Functional Unit of Lung Cancer". This group is made up of oncologists, pulmonologists, radiotherapists, thoracic surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, geneticists, nurses and palliatists. Its main objective is to respond in an early and efficient way to the needs of patients with lung cancer, offering the best comprehensive treatment and support, provide education, teaching and generate translational research based on the problems identified in our population.
From this interdisciplinary group emerged the need to establish links with professionals dedicated to research in the area of basic sciences in order to establish a line of research directed towards the search for new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. Consequently, since 2014 our transdisciplinary Research Group has been working on research projects related to epigenetics and its relation to lung cancer. Specifically analyzing the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and the enzymatic complexes that are involved with the activation or repression of genes and / or transcription factors related to lung cancer.
adriana rojas MORENO
Bachelor's Degree in Biology and Chemistry, Masters in Sciences - with emphasis in Genetics, PhD in Sciences, Mention: Cellular Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
Profesor at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
ALEJANDRA CAÑAS ARBOLEDA
Graduated as Internist in 2002 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in the city of Bogotá; Finished his specialization in Pneumology in 2004 in the same university. From 2006 to 2007 I have completed a fellowship in Pulmonary Transplantation and Interventional Pulmonology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
RICARDO BRUGÉS MAYA
Studied Medicina at National University of Colombia, Medicina interna at Pontifical Xavierian University and Oncology at Universidad El Bosque.
OLGA MORENO NIÑO
Biologist of the National University of Colombia, with a Master`s degree in biology and a PhD candidate in sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Since her undergraduate work, she has been linked to the area of genetics, in particular to human diagnostic cytogenetics and as the main area of research and teaching.
JUAN ANDRÉS MEJÍA
Radiologist - Interventional Neuroradiologist
Hospital Universitario San Ignacio.
MARÍA JOSÉ FERNÁNDEZ
Internal Medicine and Respiratory Physician
at Hospital Universitario San Ignacio and also a Physiology Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá,
cPhD - Doctorate Student
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
MsC Biological Sciences - Graduated
Bacteriologist - Graduated
Bacteriologist - Graduated
Biologist - Graduated
Undergraduate student Bacteriology. 2018. Thesis.