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Washington University School of Medicine researchers find that in lung cancer, smokers have 10 times more genetic damage than never-smokers

  • Posted: September 14, 2012

Lung cancer patients with a history of smoking have 10 times more genetic mutations in their tumors than those with the disease who have never smoked, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Overall, the analysis identified about 3,700 mutations across all 17 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type. Twelve patients had a history of smoking and five did not. In each patient who never smoked, the researchers found at least one mutated gene that can be targeted with drugs currently on the market for other diseases or available through clinical trials. Across all patients, they identified 54 mutated genes already associated with existing drugs.

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