Cancer Research LogoIf you are a smoker then this news may be of grave importance. As per the Institute of Cancer Research, scientists have claimed that inborn changes in particular areas of the genome can increase a smoker’s possibility of developing lung cancer and can also possibly determine the type of lung cancer that can develop.

The genomes around of 1,900 lung cancer patients were examined by the researchers and were weighed against 1,400 healthy individuals. This was done to recognize definite changes in the DNA that were connected with an increased threat of lung cancer.

Genes of another 2,000 lung cancer patients were scanned for these changes and matched them against to a similar number of healthy people. This detected the changes in three areas of the genome which were more common in lung cancer patients than healthy people. These areas are apparently in chromosomes 5, 6, and 15, involving these regions in lung cancer.

Apparently this work had calculated that a present or former smoker who has one copy of each variant increases his threat of lung cancer by 28 percent. At the same time if they carry two copies of each variant then their risk is supposedly increased by 80 percent. In the case of non-smokers, they also seem to carry the changes but the risk for lung cancer apparently increases only for smokers.

Consumption of tobacco and smoking behavior is apparently influenced by these variants that are placed in a family of genes. Cell growth and cell death are also supposedly influenced by these genes.

Lead research author Professor Richard Houlston, a Cancer Research UK funded scientist at The Institute of Cancer Research, commented “This research confirms work done at the ICR and elsewhere that has previously implicated these areas in lung cancer risk and the type that develops. The next step is to dig deeper to pin point which gene, or genes in these regions, cause the increased risk of developing lung cancer and how they actually trigger this increase.”

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK mentioned “Smoking greatly increases the risk of lung cancer – causing nine out of ten cases of the disease. This research shows that inherited genetic variation accounts for some of this risk and the type of lung cancer that develops.”

He further added “It’s important to remember that smoking also increases the risk of other life-threatening diseases including heart disease, stroke and a dozen other cancers. The best thing a smoker can do to reduce their risk of lung cancer, and a range of other life-threatening conditions, is to quit.”

The researchers discovered that the difference at chromosome 5 apparently determined the type of lung cancer that developed. Those who had this variant had more tendencies to develop a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) known as adenocarcinoma.

27 percent of lung cancers in the UK are claimed to be accounted by this type of cancer and the most common type of lung cancer amongst the non-smokers. The final area which was recognized on chromosome 6 apparently determines the type of NSCLC that develops either adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

The research was published in this week’s edition of the Journal Cancer Research.