Navigation Links
Scientists discover how cigarette smoke causes cancer: Study points to new treatments, safer tobacco

Everyone has known for decades that that smoking can kill, but until now no one really understood how cigarette smoke causes healthy lung cells to become cancerous. In a new research report published in the March 2008 print issue of The FASEB Journal (, researchers from the University of California, Davis, show that hydrogen peroxide (or similar oxidants) in cigarette smoke is the culprit. This finding may help the tobacco industry develop safer cigarettes by eliminating such substances in the smoke, while giving medical researchers a new avenue to developing lung cancer treatments.

With the five-year survival rate for people with lung cancer at a dismally low 15.5 percent, we hope this study will provide better insight into the identification of new therapeutic targets, said Tzipora Goldkorn, senior author of the report.

In the research study, Goldkorn and colleagues describe how they exposed different sets of human lung airway cells (in the laboratory) to cigarette smoke and hydrogen peroxide. After exposure, these cells were then incubated for one to two days. Then they, along with unexposed airway cells, were assessed for signs of cancer development. The cells exposed to cigarettes smoke and the cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide showed the same molecular signatures of cancer development, while the unexposed cells did not.

Guns kill, bombs kill and cigarettes kill, said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. While biologists cant do much about the first two, studies like this will help in the fight against tobacco-related death and disease. These experiments not only pin-point new molecular targets for cancer treatment, but also identify culprits in cigarette smoke that eventually will do the smoker in.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, resulting in more than 400,000 deaths per year or about 1 in 5 U.S. deaths overall. Smoking accounts for the vast majority of lung cancer deaths, causing 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and about 80 percent in women. In 2000, a Surgeon General report revealed that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, with 43 being known carcinogens. Some of the 4,000 compounds result from chemicals added in processing to improve taste, increase burning times, and prolong shelf life.


Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. Exeter scientists pour cold water on EU bird policy
2. Yale scientists create artificial cells that boost the immune response to cancer
3. Scientists unravel the genetic coding of the pea
4. Scientists discover giant fossil frog from hell
5. Advertisers, neuroscientists trace source of emotions in brain
6. Amazon corridors far too narrow, warn scientists
7. Dung happens and helps scientists
8. Priming scientists for successful media interviews
9. Scientists expand understanding of how river carbon impacts the Arctic Ocean
10. Fishermen and UCSB scientists explore ways to improve management of California spiny lobsters
11. Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earths temperature
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Law ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... CHESHAM , England , November 26, ... Lightpoint Medical, an innovative medical device company specializing in ... Euro grant from the European Commission as part of the ... enabling the company to carry out a large-scale clinical trial ... -->      (Logo: , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing ... AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 ... the global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The ... to result in lower margins but higher volume ... With increased capacity and scale, however, margins in ... Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ...
Breaking Biology Technology: