PURPOSE: Lung cancer accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States each year. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various steps involved in tumorigenesis. Several pro-inflammatory gene products have been identified that mediate a critical role in suppression of apoptosis, proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Among these gene products are Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), Interleukin (IL)-1a, IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-18. The expression of all these genes is mainly regulated by the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), which is constitutively active in most tumors. Apnea-induced hypoxia and reoxygenation generates reactive oxygen species, which activate NF-kB and increase the systemic inflammation. Significant higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6, as well as a decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 has been found in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Previous studies showed that overnight oxygen desaturation seen in patients with OSA is associated with increased cancer incidence and cancer related mortality; The purpose of this study was to determine if OSA is an independent risk for the development and dissemination of malignancy, including lung cancer.