IPF identifies a specific entity characterized by chronic, progressive fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown cause, still lacking effective therapies. Growing evidence points out that aberrant proliferative events in IPF recall malignant transformation given a specific temporal and cellular heterogeneity. To look at IPF through cancer glass can help in stratifying and addressing patients to personalized approaches as well as in analyzing the mechanisms of abnormal cell/matrix interactions which characterize the disease. Moreover, the advances in cancer immunotherapy and the improvement in imaging and radiotherapy techniques open the way for treatment of those patients carrying both lung cancer and IPF that till now have represented a sort of therapeutically orphan population. Translational research is a source of continuous innovation in medicine more particularly for clinical research on new treatment modalities in IPF patients and will contribute to improve mechanistic explanation of disease onset and progression. To reach this goal, the real efficiency of next future studies and trials will depend on the integration of proper sample collection, gene expression analysis and functional and bio-informatic annotation as well as on the coordination of multidisciplinary know how and technical platforms.
GMS would like to thank Elena Morganti for fruitful discussion and critical reading and Benedetta Marchelli for the continuous and enthusiastic support.
This work was supported by Ricerca Corrente (No. #08050 to GMS) from IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo.
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Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2022;11(3):472-496. © 2022 AME Publishing Company