Genetics May Play Role in Smokers' Cancer Risk

Those who inherit variation from both parents are at greater danger
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 8:50 PM CDT
In this undated photo provided by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., different varieties of Camel cigarettes are shown in Winston-Salem, N.C.    (AP Photo/RJ Reynolds Tobacco)
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(Newser) – Three new studies have found a genetic variation that may increase smokers' chances of getting lung cancer. A smoker who inherits the variations from both parents has a 70% to 80% greater risk of developing the cancer. The findings could shed light on why some  smokers get cancer and some don't, and why some are more prone to getting hooked. They also could lead to better anti-smoking treatments, the Telegraph reports.

"These results are particularly exciting as they provide the first identification of a major genetic factor that contributes to lung cancer risk," a scientist from one of the three teams told the Guardian. "These findings will help us understand why lung cancer develops, and may indicate new strategies for treating the disease."