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How Non-smoker Catches Lung Cancer, See Reason

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According to the research by some scientists, the health risk was posed by tiny particles produced by fossil fuels which call for immediate action to combat climate change.

On Saturday, scientists said they had found a mechanism through which air pollution causes lung cancer in people who do not smoke. One expert hailed this discovery as “an important step for science – and for society.”

Lung Cancer


According to Charles Swanton of the UK’s Francis Crick Institute, the research also could pave the way for a new field of cancer prevention. He presented the study, which is not yet published in a journal, at the European Society for Medical Oncology’s annual conference in Paris.

Air pollution is known to be a source of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Swanton stated, “But we didn’t really know whether pollution was directly causing lung cancer – or how.”

It has always been thought that exposure to carcinogens like pollution and cigarettes causes DNA mutation and then causes cancer. SwanHowever, ton’s study proposes a different model.

Lung Cancer


Francis Crick Institute research team and University College London examined the health data of more than 460,000 people in South Korea, Taiwan, and England. They found that exposure to tiny PM2.5 pollution particles – less than 2.5 microns across – increased the risk of mutations in the EGFR gene.

The studies done in the labs on mice showed particles caused changes in the EGFR gene and the KRAS gene, both of which are linked to lung cancer. In addition, the team analyzed 250 human lung tissue samples never exposed to smoking or pollution. DNA mutations were found in 33% of KRAS genes and 18% of EGFR genes, even though the lungs were healthy.


Swanton stated, “They’re just sitting there,” and added that the mutations seem to increase with age. “On their own, they probably are insufficient to drive cancer.” He added, “But when a cell is exposed to pollution, it can trigger a “wound-healing response” that causes inflammation.” “And if that cell harbors a mutation, it will then form cancer.” “We’ve provided a biological mechanism behind what was previously an enigma.”

The researchers found that the antibody could block the mediator in another experiment on mice called interleukin one beta, which sparks that inflammation that stops cancer in the first place.

Swanton hoped the finding would “provide fruitful grounds for a future of what might be molecular cancer prevention, where we can offer people a pill, perhaps every day, to reduce the risk of cancer.”

Lung Cancer


Suzette Delaloge, head of the cancer prevention program at France’s Gustave Roussy institute, stated that the research was “quite revolutionary because we had practically no prior demonstration of this alternative way of cancer forming.” “The study is quite an important step for science – and for society too, I hope. Delaloge stated, “This opens a huge door, both for knowledge but also for new ways to prevent cancer from developing.” She was not involved in the research but discussed it at the conference on Saturday. “This level of demonstration must force authorities to act on an international scale.”

An oncologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tony Mok, stated that the research is exciting. He stated, “It means that we can ask whether, in the future, it will be possible to use lung scans to look for pre-cancerous lesions in the lungs and try to reverse them with medicines such as interleukin 1 beta inhibitors.”

Lung Cancer


Swanton calls air pollution a hidden killer, with research showing deaths of more than eight million people linked to this, almost the same number of tobacco-related deaths. Swanton, also the chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, who was the research’s primary funder, added, “You and I have a choice about whether we smoke or not, but we do not have a choice about the air we breathe.” “Given that probably five times as many people are exposed to unhealthy levels of pollution than tobacco, you can see this is quite a major global problem.”

Lung Cancer


“We can only tackle it if we recognize the really intimate links between climate health and human health.” Another research has linked PM2.5 to 250,000 deaths annually from lung cancer alone.

Raulf Hernes

By Raulf Hernes

If you ask me raulf means ALL ABOUT TECH!!

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