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Susceptibility to lung cancer genetic: study

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http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/00 ... 061032.htm

New York, April 6 (PTI): Susceptibility to lung cancer runs in families and the risk of contracting the disease in close relatives of patients is 25 per cent more as compared to others, according to a new research.

Scientists at the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Centre found a 25 per cent increased risk of developing one of a number of cancers in first degree relatives of lung cancer patients who have never smoked compared to families of people who never smoked or have lung cancer.

The study, one of the largest ever done and the only one to include both men and women, strongly suggests that these lung cancer patients and their affected relatives share an inherited genetic susceptibility to cancer development.

"This study demonstrates the importance of familial factors in the general development of cancer," the study's lead author Olga Gorlova, said.

"These susceptibility factors can be environmental, but are more likely to be influenced by genetic factors, because genes control pathways common to a number of cancers."

Such marked cancer susceptibility also likely explains why patients in this study, who never smoked but might have been exposed to second hand smoke, developed lung cancer in the first place, she says.

The research team, headed by Margaret Spitz, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, looked at whether 2,465 first-degree relatives of 316 lung cancer patients, who never smoked developed cancer.

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