A Comprehensive Study on the Correlation of Treatment, Diagnosis and Epidemiology of Tuberculosis and Lung Cancer

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Mycobacteriology and Pulmonary Research, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Virology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The correlation between tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer (LC) in diagnosis, epidemiology, and treatment is still unclear. Based on different cohort and retrospective studies, this correlation could be justified by immune weakness because of exposure to TB which may increase the risk of LC. In this study, we tried to exhibit a prominent connection between TB and LC. The diagnosis and treatment of patients with concomitant TB and LC differ from patients with only one of the diseases. In this review, it was well clarified that the most practical diagnostic method for LC is chest tomography, biopsy, and histopathology, and for pulmonary TB sputum microscopic examination, Autofluorescence bronchoscopy (AFB), culture, and PCR. Also, immunological methods can be a good alternative for differential diagnosis. Most epidemiological studies were about concomitant TB and LC in TB-endemic areas, especially in the Middle East. The most suggested methods for definite treatment of LC are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery while for TB, a long course of anti-TB therapy can be used. Moreover, immunotherapy is considered a good treatment for lung cancer if the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) is negative.


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