Genetic alterations differ between the two groups of lung cancer patients

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 (Last Updated: 11/10/2010)

TUESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsmokers with lung cancer have different genetic alterations than patients who have ever smoked, and new findings provide evidence that lung tumors in nonsmokers are due to distinct genetic mechanisms, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held from Nov. 7 to 10 in Philadelphia.

Kelsie L. Thu, of the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from lung adenocarcinomas and matched samples of non-malignant tissue from 30 never smokers and 53 current or former smokers.

The researchers found that never smokers had more epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations than ever smokers, but ever smokers had more KRAS mutations. Never smokers had more frequent gains of 1p, and ever smokers had more frequent gains of 1q. In never smokers, genomes of tumors had a higher proportion altered than was seen in ever smokers (P = 0.130). This group also had a higher number of alterations in terms of distinct genetic events (P = 0.049).

"Hopefully, our findings will stimulate the research community to further investigate the differences between lung cancer in these two cohorts, which could ultimately lead to the discovery of novel molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in never smokers," Thu said in a statement.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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