Saturday, October 3, 2009
Lung cancer risk and African-Americans
A recent study published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology determined that variations of specific genetic markers identified in previous research, or SNPs, may indicate a greater lung cancer risk in African Americans than in whites. The genes CHRNA3 and CHRNA5 may contribute to lung cancer risk due directly or through their association with nicotine dependence. Although their presence is less frequent in African Americans, the risk for lung cancer may be greater when present. Despite reporting lower levels of smoking, lung cancer incidence remains higher for African Americans, than for whites, so this is an important population in which to study the role of CHRNA3 and CHRNA5 genes and risk of lung cancer. The present study concentrated on the genes CHRNA3 and CHRNA5, confirming a stronger association with the risk of lung cancer than with nicotine dependence in African Americans.