Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) is a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with distinct clinical and pathologic features. Although BAC appears to be on a pathologic continuum with adenocarcinoma, the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) classification system has set stringent criteria for the diagnosis. Though malignant, these cancers tend to be peripheral and grow in a lepedic fashion along the alveolar septae without parenchymal invasion. This clear distinction based on histopathology allows for a more definite separation of the natural history and behavior of BAC in clinical studies. Recent clinical trials of molecular targeted anticancer therapies have led to a deeper understanding of the unique features of this cancer and suggest that BAC may require a different therapeutic paradigm from other NSCLCs.
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