Inherited mutated gene increases lung cancer risk in women

Washington, Mar 23 (ANI): Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggest that people who have an inherited mutation of a certain gene have a high chance of getting lung cancer than heavy smokers with or without the inherited mutation.

Although both genders have an equal risk of inheriting the mutation, those who develop lung cancer are mostly women and have never smoked, the researchers found.

People with the rare inherited T790M mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene who have never smoked have a one-in-three chance of developing lung cancer, researchers found.

This risk is considerably greater than that of the average heavy smoker, who has about a one-in-eight chance of developing lung cancer - about 40- fold greater than people who have never smoked and do not have the mutation.

The likelihood of developing lung cancer is so strong for women with the mutated gene and people with the mutated gene who have never smoked that they may need to get screened for lung cancer at regular intervals, according to Dr. Adi Gazdar, Professor of Pathology and Deputy Director for the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for

Therapeutic Oncology Research at UT Southwestern.

"Fortunately the mutation, which is extremely rare, can be detected by a blood test. Only people suspected of having the mutation and their family members need to be tested for the mutation," Dr. Gazdar said.

"This is a very rare inherited mutation in the general population, but because it confers a greatly increased risk of developing lung cancer, it is present in about one in every hundred lung cancer cases," the researcher said.

The findings are published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. (ANI)