We examined loss of heterozygosity in 49 adenocarcinomas and 18 squamous cell carcinomas of the lung with 19 RFLP markers on the short arm of chromosome 3. Although no interstitial deletions were observed in any squamous cell carcinomas, interstitial or partial deletions were detected in 23 adenocarcinomas. Identification of two common regions of deletion in adenocarcinomas, at 3p21.3 and 3p14.1–21.1, suggested the presence of at least two tumor suppressor genes on 3p within the same regions commonly deleted in renal cell carcinomas. Correlation between the frequency of loss of heterozygosity on 3p and histopathological grade of adenocarcinoma also was observed. These results imply an etiological difference between two major types of non-small cell lung cancers, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.


This work was supported, in part, by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, Japan, and grants from the Science Technology Agency and the Vehicle Racing Commemorative Foundation.

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