Will genetic study of lung cancer yield fruit?

One of the more intriguing findings is that patients who are smokers suffer nearly 10 times more genetic changes than non-smokers. This may make the cancers of non-smokers easier to treat, which is not the case now.

lung cancer genomics from Science DailyA study by the National Institutes of Health shows 26 genes are changed in the most common form of lung cancer. (Illustration from Science Daily.)

The study immediately raised treatment hopes, but genetics-based cures can be a double-edged sword.

ImClone is learning that, with word that its colon cancer drug is ineffective on patients with a second genetic mutation.

It's similar to what I wrote of yesterday, the idea that shotgun approaches, while they can be accurate, can also be unreliable. Costs rise, but increased cure rates may be offset by the increased rise in side-effects.

One of the more intriguing findings is that patients who are smokers suffer nearly 10 times more genetic changes than non-smokers. This may make the cancers of non-smokers easier to treat, which is not the case now.

The full study, with 26 listed authors, is in the current issue of Nature.

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