Study Finds New Links between Genes and Lung Cancer

Lung CancerLung Cancer is one of the most common cancers and according to the American Cancer Society; it is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths. August 1 is observed as World Lung Cancer Day to raise awareness about it. Guidelines from the US Preventive Services Task Force recommend for screening of people aging between 50 and 80 years with a 20 pack-year smoking history, those who are current smokers or who have quit within last 15 years.

World Lung Cancer DayContinuous research works and studies have been conducted to help in identifying lung cancer risk at an early stage so that it can be cured in a timely manner. According to the findings by a team at Baylor College of Medicine, they revealed five new susceptibility genes and 10 new variant associations from known risk genes. The team also validated another 24 associations in different populations. Their findings have been published in Nature Genetics.

In this study, the team analyzed data from over 61000 lung cancer patients and nearly 1 million study controls including Europeans, Africans and East Asians. The team found susceptibility candidate genes were frequently linked to biological pathways. One susceptibility gene candidate identified is IRF4, which is known for causing melanoma. The results of the study could help in identifying people who are at highest risk of getting lung cancer. They also performed functional assays on the susceptibility genes in lung fibroblast cells.

 Jun Xia, co-first author of the study and postdoctoral associate at Baylor said, “Genes that promote DNA damage may be good target candidates for PARP inhibitor therapy, which prevents cancer cells from repairing certain types of DNA damage.” “These genes may also be important in studying response to immunotherapy, which tends to work best in tumors with high mutation burden.”

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only. You should consult your medical practitioner for any healthcare needs.

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