Tags: smoke | genetic | damage | cancer

Smokers Have 10 times More Genetic Damage

Monday, 17 Sep 2012 10:03 AM

Smokers who develop lung cancer have 10 times more genetic mutations in their tumors than those with the disease who never smoked, according to new research out of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The study, published in the journal Cell, identified about 3,700 mutations in 17 patients with lung cancer who participated in the study. Twelve of the patients had a history of smoking; five did not. In addition to finding more mutated genes in smokers, the researchers identified at least one damaged gene that can be treated with available drugs in patients who never smoked. Among all patients, they identified 54 mutated genes that can be treated with existing drugs.
"None of us were surprised that the genomes of smokers had more mutations than the genomes of never-smokers with lung cancer," said researcher Richard K. Wilson, director of The Genome Institute at Washington University. "But it was surprising to see 10-fold more mutations. It does reinforce the old message – don't smoke."
Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan, an oncologist who treats patients at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University, said the findings could point the way to effective new treatments. "Now we need to drill deeper and do studies to understand how these mutations cause and promote cancer, and how they can be targeted for therapy," Govindan said.
The study was funded, in part, by National Human Genome Research Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

© HealthDay

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Smokers with lung cancer have 10 times more genetic mutations in their tumors than those who never smoked.
Monday, 17 Sep 2012 10:03 AM
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