Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lurking lung cancer alleles

01.06.2006
Researchers identify common sequence differences in human DNA that confer genetic susceptibility to lung cancer

In the largest genome-wide scan for lung cancer-susceptibility genes to date, scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research have identified 64 gene variants that may predispose some individuals to lung cancer. These genetic variants are known as "low-penetrance alleles" because they only occasionally stimulate tumor development. The study, which appears today in the scientific journal Genome Research, will eventually help researchers to pinpoint the various genetic and environmental causes of lung cancer.

As the most common malignancy in the world, lung cancer is predominantly caused by a single environmental factor: tobacco smoke. Studies have shown that long-term cigarette smokers have a 10-fold increased risk of acquiring lung cancer when compared to non-smokers. But in recent years, scientists have accumulated evidence that hereditary factors also contribute to lung cancer susceptibility. For example, a higher prevalence of the disease has been observed in patients with Bloom’s and Werner’s syndromes, who have inherited mutations in specific genes that are involved in DNA replication, recombination, and repair.

"Our research suggests that it is highly unlikely that only one or two genes are primarily responsible for the genetic basis of lung cancer," explains Dr. Richard Houlston from The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK, who co-led the study with Dr. Tim Eisen from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. "The exact nature of lung cancer susceptibility is probably much more complex. We hypothesized that most of the inherited genetic risk is posed by sequence changes in the genome that augment the effects of exposure to cigarette smoke."

As part of the U.K.-based Genetic Lung Cancer Predisposition Study (GELCAPS), the researchers tested DNA samples from 2707 healthy individuals and 1529 lung cancer patients. In each of these samples, they evaluated a total 1476 DNA variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 871 genes with a presumptive role in cancer biology.

In total, 64 of the SNPs were found to be associated with lung cancer development. Several of these SNPs alter the structure or function of an expressed protein, so it is possible that they are directly responsible for the observed association. Additional research will be required to understand the exact role that each of these genetic variants plays in increasing one’s risk of lung cancer.

"Whilst our research indicates that certain individuals could be at higher risk of developing the disease, it has been proven that the majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by tobacco smoke. It’s important to remember that tobacco smoke is far and away the biggest risk factor for lung cancer," warns Houlston.

Maria Smit | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>