Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lung cancer screening encouraged for smokers with a strong family history of the disease


To detect invasive lung cancer in its early stages, researchers urge current and former smokers who have a strong family history of the disease to take a lung function test and undergo screening with spiral computed tomography. The test is especially important should the previously diagnosed relative be young (around 50).

These findings appear in an article on familial lung cancer in the first issue for January 2006 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

(The screening test, spiral computed tomography, uses a 360-degree X-ray beam, along with computer production of image "slices," to highlight lesions in organs and tissues.)

Ann G. Schwartz, Ph.D., of the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, along with an associate, emphasized that 85 to 95 percent of all lung cancers are attributable to cigarette smoking. The rate of lung cancer in the U.S. has dropped over the past two decades as a result of extraordinary personal and public health smoking cessation efforts. Yet, an estimated 46 million former smokers in America remain at risk for the disease, along with almost 49 million who continue to smoke. Consequently, further efforts need to be made to identify high-risk populations.

"Because cigarette smoking is such an overwhelming risk factor and preventable, the importance of family history and genetic susceptibility to lung cancer risk has been overlooked," said Dr. Schwartz.

She pointed out that individuals with a family history of lung cancer are at approximately a two- to threefold increased risk of developing the illness.

In one screening study, at least one first-degree relative had lung cancer in almost 14 percent of the 26,000 patients diagnosed with the disease.

The authors noted that the median age of onset for younger family members affected by lung cancer was 50 ½, showing a trend toward an earlier age at onset.

"Although evidence pointing to a gene for lung cancer is substantial, the problems associated with the conduct of a linkage study in lung cancer are even greater," said Dr. Schwarz. "The average age of lung cancer diagnosis is 70 years and 5-year survival after diagnosis continues to be poor, at 15 percent, so affected family members are typically deceased, as are their parents, siblings and spouses."

Dr. Schwartz noted that the gene linkage studies conducted to date have been relatively small. Moreover, the regions identified were large showing numerous genes. She also said that many of the regions identified did not overlap exactly between the studies.

"While debate continues about the efficacy of spiral computed tomography screening for lung cancer in broad population of smokers, the ability to focus screening efforts in a truly high-risk subpopulation would clearly be of benefit now," said Dr. Schwarz.

One way the authors suggest to identify high risk groups is to routinely collect data on family history of lung cancer in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an illness that is also strongly associated with cigarette smoking. In addition, data on family history of COPD should be gathered from those already diagnosed with lung cancer.

Finally, the investigators encouraged the funding of larger linkage and association studies to identify genes for both lung cancer and COPD.

Suzy Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

A new look at thyroid diseases

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Sweetening neurotransmitter receptors and other neuronal proteins

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>