Lung cancer between women smokers and non-smokers differs genetically,
researchers in France say.
Researchers at the University of Toulouse III in France compared clinical,
pathological and biological characteristics of lung cancer in groups of women
smokers and women who never smoked.
The researchers looked at a total of 140 women, 63 never-smokers and 77
former/current smokers who had adenocarcinoma -- a form of non-small cell lung
cancer. It is the type of lung cancer most commonly seen in women and is often
seen in non-smokers.
The researchers observed differential genetic alteration repartition in women
according to their tobacco status: 50.8 percent of never-smokers displayed an
EGFR mutation versus 10.4 percent of smokers. In contrast, K-Ras was more
frequently mutated in smokers at 33.8 percent than in never-smokers at 9.5
percent. The researchers also observed a higher percentage of estrogen receptors
in patients who never smoked when compared with smokers.
The study, scheduled to be published in the July issue of the Journal of
Thoracic Oncology, concluded lung cancer in women who have never smoked is more
frequently associated with EGFR mutations and estrogen receptor overexpression.
"These findings underline the possibility of treatment for women who have never
smoked with drugs to target hormonal factors, genetic abnormalities, or both,"
the study authors said in a statement.