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Mutations Less Common in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer

Related study shows early intentions to smoke predict smoking in childhood cancer survivors

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer patients who never smoked are less likely to have gene mutations commonly found in smokers, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that childhood cancer survivors who had indicated an intention to smoke were more likely to start smoking within five years.

Young Joo Lee, M.D., from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and colleagues surveyed 179 never smokers newly diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer regarding their exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and sequenced the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) for mutations found in cigarette smokers. They found that patients exposed to tobacco smoke had a significantly lower incidence of mutations (38.5 versus 61.4 percent).

James L. Klosky, Ph.D., from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and colleagues assessed smoking intentions in 119 nonsmoking childhood cancer survivors 10 to 18 years old. After a median follow-up of six years, they found that 22.7 percent of patients started smoking tobacco within five years. Patients who had indicated an intention to smoke had a significantly higher five-year incidence of smoking compared with committed never smokers (29.8 versus 12.8 percent).

"Because early intentions to smoke are predictive of later tobacco use, survivors as young as 10 years of age who waver in their commitment to remain tobacco abstinent should be targeted for tobacco prevention interventions," Klosky and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Lee
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Abstract - Klosky
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