MONDAY, Oct. 8, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- A gene variant linked with a decreased risk of lung cancer has been identified by researchers.
The variant occurs in a gene involved with inflammation and immune response. The findings add to growing evidence linking inflammation and immune response with the development of lung cancer, according to the study authors.
They looked at more than 1,400 variants in inflammation- and immunity-related genes from 378 lung cancer patients and 450 healthy people. They found that a variant called "rs4648127" in the NFKB1 gene was associated with a 21 percent to 44 percent reduced risk of lung cancer.
A protein produced in part from the NFKB1 gene is known to play an important role in inflammation and immunity by regulating gene expression, cell death and cell proliferation.
The study was published online Oct. 8 in the journal Cancer.
"Our study provides further evidence that inflammation may be associated with lung cancer risk," study co-author Meredith Shiels, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said in a journal news release.
Further research is needed to learn more about the link between the NFKB1 gene and lung cancer, she added.
While the study found an association between a gene variant and lung cancer risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about lung cancer risk factors.