Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New blood test uncovers individual risk for lung cancer

03.09.2003


Smokers carrying a newly found genetic marker are 5-10 times more likely to fall victim to the disease than other smokers; 120 times more than nonsmokers who don’t carry the marker

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute have discovered a new genetic risk factor that increases the susceptibility of smokers to lung cancer.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the findings show that smokers who carry the newly discovered genetic marker are around 120 times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers who do not have the risk factor.



A simple blood test based on these findings will be able to detect smokers who are at especially high risk of developing lung cancer.

The findings, made by Prof. Zvi Livneh and Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur of the Biological Chemistry Department, are a result of many years of research conducted on the role of DNA-repair mechanisms in cancer. The scientists focused on lung cancer, one of the most common and most deadly cancers, responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths. In the USA alone there are 160,000 new patients per year. Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, and 90% of hospitalized lung cancer patients are smokers. However, only 10% of heavy smokers develop the disease, suggesting involvement of a personal genetic susceptibility. Livneh struck up a collaboration with Dr. Meir Krupsky of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center to determine whether this susceptibility is caused by a decreased ability to repair DNA damage.

Our DNA is damaged about 20,000 times a day by factors such as sunlight, smoke and reactions within the body. If left unrepaired, damages to the DNA can lead to cancer. Fortunately the body has a stock of enzymes whose function is to repair DNA. These enzymes scan the DNA and detect damage using sophisticated sensor systems. Upon detection of damage, the enzymes perform an "operation" on the DNA, cutting out the damaged part and replacing it with a new DNA part. Thus the efficiency of the repair systems is critical for the prevention of cancer.

Livneh and his team concentrated on a specific DNA repair enzyme, called OGG1 (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1). This repair enzyme deletes DNA parts damaged by toxic molecules called oxygen radicals, which are found in tobacco smoke. The team developed a new blood test that enabled them to measure the level of activity of OGG1. Using this method, the researchers found that 40% of lung cancer patients have low levels of OGG1 activity, in contrast to only 4% of the general population.

These and other findings published in the study show that low OGG1 activity results in high susceptibility to cancer: 5-10 times more than those whose OGG1 activity is normal. Smoking increases this risk, since it causes more damage for DNA repair enzymes, including OGG1, to fix. Smokers who have a low level of OGG1 activity were found to have the greatest risk of lung cancer, as much as 120 higher than non-smokers with regular levels of OGG1 activity.

These findings suggest that a substantial portion of lung cancer cases might result from a combination of smoking and reduced OGG1 activity.

If so, then screening smokers for low OGG1 activity will help them make more informed decisions to stop smoking. Of course, even smokers with normal OGG1 activity are at a greater risk of getting lung cancer than the general population and the blood test will not ensure that they don’t get the disease. In addition, smoking causes other types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, whose relation to OGG1 activity is still unknown.

The Weizmann team also included Dr. Sara Blumenstein and Dalia Elinger. Statistical analysis was conducted by Dr. Edna Schechtman from Ben-Gurion University.

Prof. Zvi Livneh’s research is supported by the Dolfi and Lola Ebner Center for BiomedicalResearch, the Levine Institute of Applied Science and the M.D. Moross Institute for Cancer Research.

Prof. Livneh is the incumbent of the Maxwell Ellis Professorial Chair in Biomedical Research.


The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.

Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.weizmann.ac.il/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>