Navigation Links
Lung Cancer in Smokers, Nonsmokers May Be a Different Disease
Date:11/9/2010

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that lung cancer in people who have never smoked may be a different disease than it is in smokers.

Scientists compared the genetic characteristics of lung cancer tumors in 30 people who never smoked to tumors in 53 smokers or former smokers.

The tumors of people who had never smoked had twice as many DNA abnormalities as people who were current or former smokers, said study author Kelsie Thu, a doctoral candidate at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver.

"This is suggesting there might be something different going on with tumors in never-smokers," Thu said. "If we find out lung cancer in never-smokers is a different disease and we can identify what those differences are, maybe we can design specific therapies that target the genetic alterations in never-smokers and improve the prognosis."

The study was to be presented Monday at the American Association of Cancer Research's annual conference, in Philadelphia.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and woman, according to the American Cancer Society. Lung cancer will kill an estimated 157,000 Americans this year.

But it's not just smokers who get it -- lung cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer deaths among people who have never smoked, Thu said. Dana Reeve, wife of the late Christopher Reeve, died in 2006 at age 44 from lung cancer. She had never smoked.

Prior research has hinted that lung cancer tumors in never-smokers is different than the tumors in smokers. Compared to former and current smokers with lung cancer, never-smokers with lung cancer tend to be diagnosed younger, are more likely to be women and are more likely to have adenocarcinomas, the most common type of cancer. All of the lung cancer patients in the study had adenocarcinoma.

People who never smoked are also more likely to have a mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene.

"All of those differences are evidence there may be something different going on with their tumors," Thu said.

The new study confirmed earlier findings that nonsmokers were more likely to have the EGFR mutation, Thu said.

Never-smokers with lung cancer were also less likely to have the KRAS mutation, which has also been shown in prior research.

In smokers, it's believed that the carcinogens in tobacco and cigarettes cause DNA mutations that lead to the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, Thu said.

In nonsmokers, the added genetic mutations suggest other mechanisms are driving the tumor growth, Thu said. "We hypothesize there is more genomic instability in the never-smokers than the smokers, and that leads us to believe there may be some other molecular mechanism that is driving the tumor development," she said.

Dr. David Carbone, a professor of medicine and cancer biology at Vanderbilt University, said the new study supports the idea that cancer in people who've never smoked vs. current and former smokers is different.

In never-smokers, the challenge is not only coming up with treatments that target the genetic mutations of their tumor, but in identifying people soon enough to help them, said Carbone, a member of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America's scientific advisory board.

Nonsmokers tend to take longer to be diagnosed with lung cancer because few suspect they have it, he said.

"We often see never-smokers present with advanced, incurable disease," he said.

Drugs that target particular genetic pathways have been very successful. Erlotinib (Tarceva), for example, has been shown to extend the lives of lung cancer patients with the EGFR mutation, present in about 10 percent of lung cancers, Carbone said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lung cancer.

SOURCES: Kelsie Thu, Ph.D. candidate, British Columbia Cancer Research Center, Vancouver; David Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., professor, medicine and cancer biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.; Nov. 8, 2010, presentation, American Association of Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention annual conference, Philadelphia


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer experience worse for young adults in spite of better survival odds
2. Combined imaging technologies may better identify cancerous breast lesions
3. New research shows genetic test for lung cancer risk prompts smokers to quit
4. Obesity Not Tied to Breast Cancer Risk in Mexican Americans
5. Smoking May Raise Risk of Death in Women With Breast Cancer
6. Statins Dont Reduce Colon Cancer Risk, Study Finds
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDs new cancer drug target
8. Breast cancer: Reducing the risk of unnecessary chemo
9. Statins did not reduce colorectal cancer in WHI analysis
10. PIT(-1)ting good and bad outcomes against each other in breast cancer
11. Hebrew University researchers discover expanded role for cancer-causing gene
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Lung Cancer in Smokers, Nonsmokers May Be a Different Disease 
(Date:4/28/2017)... Edinburg, Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... a plaque in recently to the labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at ... generous mothers who give birth at the hospital and decide to donate. , ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh ... Creator responds to and which He does not. Yisrayl says with so many titles ... the true name, but he says with a little Scripture, backed with a lot of ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... NuevaCare, a leading home care agency based in San ... Alto, is proud to announce information upgrades to its blog in the form of ... on topics such as home care (generally) as well as senior care and home ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Incentive Research Foundation is pleased to ... a groundbreaking analysis of how behavioral economics can be applied to the incentive, ... programs, the report highlights proven behavioral economics approaches and the powerful role emotions ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... SyncDog, Inc. ... at MobileIron Live! 2017 in Santa Clara, California. Each year, MobileIron ... approach to helping organizations maximize the benefits of mobility in their operations securely. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... NASHVILLE , Tenn. and DALLAS , ... and EndoStim, Inc., announced that the first patients in ... with the EndoStim device in the Lower Esophageal Sphincter ... is a minimally-invasive implantable device designed to provide long-term ... through neurostimulation. GERD affects nearly 65 million ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  Novartis today announced ... National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of ... 58% of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic anemia ... treated with eltrombopag at the initiation of and ... study evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or cohorts. ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global arthroscopy devices market to grow at a CAGR of ... Arthroscopy Devices Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: