Scientists have recently identified genetic variations, on chromosome 15, which evidently raise the risk of attaining lung cancer for smokers and people with a history of smoking. These variants are apparently common in the general population and only raise lung cancer risk for those who smoke, or have smoked before.
The three research teams, that investigated this genetic link to smoking addiction, have made conclusions that may someday in the near future give rise to screening tests and customised treatments for smokers trying to quit.
One of the interesting things they've uncovered includes the fact that people that are smoking now, or have smoked in the past, who have two copies of the variants (one from each parent) have a 70%-80% greater risk of getting cancer.
This research is still ongoing and some questions such as how exactly the key variants influence lung cancer risk, and whether or not the key set of variants affect just one gene or three closely placed genes, are still trying to be answered.
by Biyanka Komandur
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