Gene variant linked to smoking longer, getting lung cancer sooner

Smokers with a specific genetic variation are more likely to keep smoking longer than those who don’t have the gene variant. They’re also more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age, according to new research from Laura Jean Bierut, MD (left), and Li-Shiun Chen, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Study: Most respond well to genetic testing results

People at high risk for psychological distress respond positively to receiving results of personalized genetic testing, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. More than 60 percent of subjects in the genetic study wanted information about their test results, and 95 percent said they appreciated receiving the information, regardless of whether the results were good or bad news.

Lung cancer study hints at new treatments

Studying the most common type of lung cancer, researchers from The Cancer Genome Atlas have uncovered new mutations in a cell-signaling pathway that plays a role in forming tumors. The new knowledge may expand treatments for patients because drugs targeting some of these genetic changes already are available or are in clinical trials.

Key immune cell may play role in lung cancer susceptibility

New research suggests that a key immune cell may play a role in lung cancer susceptibility. Working in mice, Alexander Krupnick, MD, and colleagues found evidence that the genetic diversity in natural killer cells, which typically seek out and destroy tumor cells, contributes to whether or not the animals develop lung cancer.

Large lung cancer study shows potential for more targeted therapies

A nationwide consortium of scientists has reported the first comprehensive genetic analysis of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, a common type of lung cancer responsible for about 400,000 deaths each year. According to Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, about 75 percent of the tumors studied have mutations that can be targeted with existing drugs.

Chest X-rays don’t reduce lung cancer deaths

A major U.S. study shows that annual chest X-rays to screen for lung cancer do not reduce the risk of dying from the disease, even in smokers or former smokers. More than 150,000 older Americans were involved in the clinical trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute, with about 16,000 enrolled at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Results of the study will be published Nov. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

CT screening reduces lung-cancer deaths in heavy smokers

In a study of heavy smokers, fewer screened with low-dose CT scans died, compared with similar smokers screened with standard chest X-rays. The National Cancer Institute ran the 33-center National Lung Screening Trial to learn whether more sensitive screening could have an impact on lung-cancer deaths, and Washington University researchers involved in the study say it did.

Genes influence how much people smoke and who gets lung cancer

Your DNA influences how much you smoke and whether you will develop lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A study, led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, is the first large-scale effort to match genetics with smoking, lung cancer and COPD combined. The investigators studied 38,000 smokers and found that two groups of gene variants on chromosome 15 influence the risk for all three problems.

Measuring lung motion leads to better radiation treatment for lung cancer

Parag Parikh and Kristen Lechleiter set up the 4D Phantom to simulate the motion of tumors in the lung.Tumors that move, such as those in the lung — which can change position during each breath — are a special problem for radiation oncologists. A group at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has studied the way lung tissues move during breathing in hopes of improving radiation as a treatment for lung cancer.
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