Fascinating paper on lung cancer

Hat tip Michelle Gervais.

Fascinating article on lung cancer. As previously documented the role of the G to T Transversion in inducing lung cancer in smokers, while in non smokers it is normally a mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).  While non smokers rarely if ever display the G to T Transversion, thus implying passive smoking does not cause lung cancer, it seems 10% of  smokers contract the EFGR induced lung cancer.

“For example, in an analysis of EGFR mutation frequency as a function of pack-years, we observed that the frequency of EGFR mutations was not statistically different from never-smokers until patients had a > 15 pack-year history of cigarette smoking.[3] Even among those with a 51 to 75 pack-year history of cigarette smoking, EGFR mutations were found in 10% of patients. Despite their smoking history, these patients will go on to respond to the EGFR inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib, emphasizing that what links these patients is not their history of cigarette smoking but the molecular characteristics of the tumors.”

So if equal numbers of smokers and non smokers contract lung cancer of the EFGR version and 14% of non smokers contract lung cancer, hence 14% + 14% = 28% the Cancer Research quote the statistic of 86% of lung cancer patients are smokers then smoking may only account for 100-28 = 72% of lung cancer, thus reducing the lifetime risk of smoking lung cancer to 72% of 8% =  5.76%. Assumption the lifetime risk of LC for a smoker is 8%.


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