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Lung tumors in never-smokers show greater genomic instability than those in smokers
Date:7/5/2011

Lung adenocarcinomas in people who have never smoked show greater genome instability than those in smokers, supporting the theory that lung cancer in never smokers arises through different pathways, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

"We identified several genomic regions that were differentially altered in the lung tumor genomes of smokers and never smokers," said principal investigator Kelsie Thu, a researcher at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre in Vancouver, Canada. "We also found that a greater fraction of lung tumor DNA harbored genetic alterations in never smokers compared to smokers. The discovery that there are different patterns of genetic alterations in smokers and never smokers suggests that lung cancers in these cohorts are likely distinct diseases driven by different molecular mechanisms, and thus, may require different treatments."

Up to 25% of lung cancer cases worldwide occur in people who have never smoked, and never smokers with lung cancer typically exhibit traits different from those of smokers. They are more often women, Asian, have a higher incidence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, better responses to EGFR-targeting drugs and are more commonly diagnosed with adenocarcinoma.

"There are a few known differences between lung cancers in smokers and never smokers. However, the differences discovered thus far are clinical features or genetic alterations at only a few specific genes," Thu said. "For our study, we wanted to use an unbiased, whole-genome approach that would allow us to investigate all of the genes in the genome simultaneously. This enables us to identify genome-wide patterns of genetic alterations in lung tumors from smokers and never smokers. Our study was a comparative study, meaning that we compared the lung tumor genomes from smokers to those fro
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Contact: Rene McGaw
renee.mcgaw@ucdenver.edu
31-205-493-413
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Source:Eurekalert

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