Recent advances in the molecular biology, diagnosis and novel therapies for various small blue cell tumors

Evan Pisick, Arthur T Skarin, Ravi Salgia
Anticancer Research 2003, 23 (4): 3379-96
Small blue cell tumors are a group of tumors that share a common histologic characteristic with H&E staining. This makes differentiation from one another difficult as they all appear small, blue and round. Even though they all appear the same, they are vastly different from each other. Several different techniques have been developed to help further delineate and classify these tumors which include: small cell lung cancer (SCLC); non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL); Ewing's sarcoma; rhabdomyosarcoma; Merkel carcinoma; neuroblastoma; carcinoid tumors; and intra-abdominal desmpolastic small round cell tumor. Using immunoperoxidase staining, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques, these tumors have been successfully differentiated from one another. This separation makes staging and treatment of these tumors more effective, as not all of these tumors respond to the same modality of treatment. The following review summarizes some of the recent findings in the various small blue cell tumors and with the potential of novel therapies.

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