Genes that raise non-smokers' cancer risk discovered

Genes that put some non-smokers at the same cancer risk as smokers have been discovered by researchers.

The team from the University of Texas and University of Cincinnati examined a region of chromosome 6q in a group of families in which several members had been affected by lung cancer.

Their study showed that people with high-risk genes on chromosome 6q had a 4.71-times higher risk of developing lung cancer, even if they had never smoked. Smokers with up to 20 pack-year histories had a risk 4.25-higher than non-smokers without high-risk genes.

However, the chances of those with the high-risk genes developing cancer did not rise substantially with increased smoking. Heavy smokers with high-risk genes had only a 23% higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers with these genes.

The researchers stressed that, for those who carried the inherited risk and then smoked, it did not matter if they were light or heavy smokers, they were significantly more likely to develop lung cancer.

University of Cincinnati researcher Marshall Anderson said the results demonstrated the strong gene-environment interaction in lung cancer.

‘If you have a family history of lung cancer, you probably should not even be around cigarette smokers,' he said.

Tom Moberly recommends

Cancer research

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

A day in the life of a prison GP

A day in the life of a prison GP

Dr Patrick Staite tells GP Jobs what it is like to work as a prison GP.

GP practice list size up nearly 50% since 2004 contract

GP practice list size up nearly 50% since 2004 contract

The average GP practice list in England has increased by almost half since the new...

Fresh calls to scrap Capita contract as more cervical screening failures emerge

Fresh calls to scrap Capita contract as more cervical screening failures emerge

The BMA has renewed calls for NHS England to strip Capita of its primary care support...

Cost-effectiveness of GP at Hand 'challenging' to assess, interim report warns

Cost-effectiveness of GP at Hand 'challenging' to assess, interim report warns

The cost-effectiveness of the Babylon GP at Hand service will be difficult to determine...

How we improved end-of-life care in our practice

How we improved end-of-life care in our practice

Dr Victoria Middleton explains how her practice has increased the number of patients...

12,000-patient practice forced to close after service charge hike

12,000-patient practice forced to close after service charge hike

A 12,000-patient GP practice in Nottinghamshire has been forced to hand back its...