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New Genetic Risk of Lung Cancer Identified


Sunday 2 November 2008


Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research have identified two new areas of the genome linked to the development of lung cancer.


The research, funded by Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and The Institute has been published in the journal, Nature Genetics, today (November 2).


It builds on research published in April which found another area of the genome which contained genes that put smokers at even greater risk of developing lung cancer.


The latest research was carried out by an international team of scientists and led by Professor Richard Houlston at The Institute of Cancer Research.


"These results are particularly important because two new areas of the genome that we previously did not know were linked to lung cancer have now be identified," Professor Houlston said.


"Both these regions contain genes that play a role in the development of lung cancer. More research is needed to understand what process is occurring at a molecular level, and how that has the potential to develop into cancer.


"Regardless of what gene abnormality a person may carry, the highest risk factor for developing lung cancer is smoking.


"We know for a fact that smoking causes nine out of ten cases of lung cancer, but not all smokers get the disease. This research tells us there are some smokers who are even more vulnerable to lung cancer because of their genetic make-up."


More than 38,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK each year and about 34,000 people die of the disease.


For more information on Professor Houlston's earlier research into genes associated with lung cancer risk visit here.

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