Lung cancer is caused by both environmental and genetic risk factors with tobacco smoking being one of the most common environmental risk factors associated with the disease. Recently, a team at Dartmouth conducted a study revealing that gene-smoking interactions pose a significant role in the etiology of lung cancer. In their research, three novel Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or variants in our DNA know to increase the chance of developing the illness were isolated in the interaction analysis, where two of the SNPs were for non-small cell lung cancer risk and the other one for squamous cell lung cancer risk. All the results of the study titled “Genome-wide interaction study of smoking behavior and non-small cell lung cancer risk in the Caucasian population,” were published in Carcinogenesis.
So far, the Dartmouth study is one of the most prominent genome-wide SNP-smoking interaction analyses ever done for lung cancer. During the research, the scientists incorporated two-step criteria in the reduction of power loss from regular gene-environment interaction analysis. The team identified the three SNPs that are essential biomarkers and can be used by oncologists to enhance the precision for which they can classify a person’s risk of lung cancer by smoking. As a result, oncologists can, therefore, create individualized prognosis and treatment plan. Although, the Dartmouth Study was solely based on the Caucasian race and results may not apply to other ethnicities given the differences in genetic background, the researchers are planning on doing further tests for other communities soon.
About Eric Lefkofsky
Eric Lefkofsky is a serial entrepreneur hailing from America. He is known for his associations with several technology firms such as InnerWorkings, Media ocean, Uptake, Echo Global Logistics, Lightbank, Groupon, and Tempus. Currently, Eric is the CEO of Tempus, a company he co-founded in 2015. Tempus assists oncologists, as well as other health practitioners, make real-time, individualized, and data-driven treatment options through analysis of the patient’s genetic code in the framework of molecular therapies. What this does is help the doctor get to understand the patient’s tumor and ultimately helps them develop better care plans and treatment options. The firm is currently focusing on breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers and aims to expand its scope over time to include other types of the disease.
Mr. Lefkofsky and his wife Liz are in charge of the Lefkofsky Family Foundation through which they regularly donate to cancer study. For instance, in 2016, the couple gave approximately one million dollars to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, $500,000 to Stanford University, $1.2 million to University of Michigan and $250,000 to New York’s Well Cornell Medicine.