Small cell carcinoma of the lung: macrophage-specific antigens suggest hemopoietic stem cell origin

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Science  07 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4666, pp. 1034-1036
DOI: 10.1126/science.6089338


Four surface antigens previously recognized only in macrophages are present on human small cell lung carcinoma cells and tumors. Cancerous cells may arise from macrophage precursors in bone marrow, and these precursors migrate to lung to participate in the repair of damaged tissue produced by continuous heavy smoking. The characteristic presence of neuropeptides such as bombesin in small cell carcinoma, when considered along with these findings, presents new possibilities for the role of such peptides in nervous, endocrine, and immune system function.