Although smoking remains the main cause of lung cancer for most of the patients but there are other factors as well which may cause lung cancer. Non-smokers are also being getting trapped in the vicious circle of this deadly disease. A new study has been carried out in Taiwan, where a large population of non-smoking cancer patients were analyzed. The study found that non-smokers respond differently to treatments than their smoking counterparts. Results of the study were published in journal Cell and are collaboration of work from the Institute of Cancer Research, London and their colleagues in Taiwan.
The researchers have found that many patients who had the disease but did not smoke showed signs of DNA damage from cancer-causing substances which are present in the environment. These genetic changes were found to depend on the age or sex of the patient.
ICR chief executive Professor Paul Workman said: “This new study offers a deep dive into the biology of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. It reveals new ways of telling apart patients with different tumour characteristics that could be exploited with tailored treatment strategies.” According to the researchers, the genetic and protein analysis revealed that some early stage lung cancers in non-smokers had molecular features similar to more advanced disease in smokers. Also, EGFR played an important role in development of lung cancer in women. Such genetic differences could affect the response of targeted drugs in men and women.
This research has laid the way for tailored treatments for lung cancer patients based on identified genetic changes. The new study reveals many new ways of parting patients with different tumor characteristics with tailored treatment strategies. As follow-ups, the team is working to validate their findings with larger studies beyond Asia.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is certainly not a substitute for medical advice.