Taiwan-led team identifies 3 genes leading to lung cancer

November 29, 2012

TAIWAN – An international research team led by Taiwanese medical professionals has identified three susceptibility loci that are connected to an increase in the chance of nonsmoking Asian women contracting lung cancer.

Chao A. Hsiung, director of the Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes and the leader of this research team, said the research confirmed that women who have these specific genes had higher incidence rates of lung cancer.

Yang Pan-chyr, dean of the National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Medicine, said those Asian women who have these three susceptibility loci have a higher chance of suffering from lung cancer compared to other women.

The study was conducted over more than a decade.

Yang said that in the future, a screening test should be designed for these three lung cancer susceptibility loci and people who have these genes should schedule regular screenings that could help discover signs of lung cancer earlier.

According to the research, smoking is still the main cause of lung cancer but most Taiwanese women don’t smoke, Yang said, adding that this research proves other factors can lead to lung cancer.

Yang said that the survival rate of early stage lung cancer is very high and this research will help doctors discover signs of lung cancer earlier, increasing the likelihood of recovery.

Tsai Ying-huang, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital superintendent, said people with a family history of lung cancer where more than two relatives have had the disease or those who smoke over a pack a day for over 20 years are at high risk of getting lung cancer. He suggested that people in this situation should get a screening for the three lung cancer susceptibility loci.

The research team consists of Taiwanese experts from the National Health Research Institutes, Academia Sinica, and selected hospitals and American medical professionals from the US National Institutes of Health. They researched samples from nearly 10,000 Asian females who don’t smoke, with some suffering and other not suffering from lung cancer.

Source: The China Post/Asia News Network

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