Papers Look at Lung Cancer Factors in Never Smokers

Never smokers defined as those who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A guide to lung cancer in never smokers offers an overview of the disease, a description of the epidemiology and risk factors for lung cancer in those who have never smoked, and differences in molecular profiles between this group and smokers, as published in three papers in the Sept. 15 Clinical Cancer Research.

In the epidemiology article, Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues write that 10 to 15 percent of lung cancers occur in never smokers, and the disease accounts for 16,000 to 24,000 deaths in this group annually in the United States. Evidence supports secondhand smoke and exposure to radon as causes of lung cancer in never smokers, and these may account for most cases. Other factors associated with the disease include asbestos, arsenic, and silica.

In the molecular profile article, Charles M. Rudin, M.D., also of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues write that TP53, KRAS, and EGFR are among the tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes that have different mutational profiles in lung cancers in never smokers and ever smokers. Several recent anti-cancer drugs target the epidermal growth factor receptor; researchers have found that lung cancer patients with minimal tobacco-use history have better outcomes with gefitinib and erlotinib treatment.

"The death rate due to lung cancer in never smokers over several decades has remained relatively constant in the United States, and represents a significant ongoing public health problem," Samet and colleagues conclude. "Given the significant impact of lung cancer in never smokers, focused research on genetic and environmental factors associated with this disease, in carefully defined and extensively characterized populations, is warranted."

The studies were supported by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute.

Abstract - Samet
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Rudin
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Overview
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events