Multiple primary lung cancer: a rising challenge
With the use of high-resolution chest imaging system and lung cancer screening program, patients with multiple primary lung cancers (MPLCs) are becoming a growing population in clinical practice worldwide. The diagnostic criteria for MPLCs has been established and modified by three major lung cancer research institutes. However, due to the fact that the differential diagnosis between MPLCs and a recurrence, metastatic, or satellite lesion arising from the original lesion remains ambiguous and confusing, there is still insufficient evidence to support a uniform guideline. Newly developed molecular and genomic methods have the potential to better define the relationship among multiple lesions and bring the possibility of targeted therapy. Surgical resection remains the first choice for the treatment of MPLCs and detailed strategy should be carefully planned taking characteristics of the tumor and status of patients into consideration. For those who are intolerant to surgery, a new technology called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is now an optional therapeutic strategy. Furthermore, multiple GGOs are unique MPLCs that need special attentions in the clinical practice.