First study of lung cancer patient who never smoked

Scientists claim to have carried out a first-of-its-kind study of a patient with lung cancer, who never smoked.

An international team has sequenced the entire DNA and RNA of the 61-year-old woman with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lung, the findings of which are published in the ‘Journal of Thoracic Oncology’. The patient never smoked and her lung cancer had entered her bloodstream and spread to other parts of her body. She was treated with several types of chemotherapy.

The scientists further examined the normal and tumour RNA for whole transcriptome sequencing, which can reveal the possible defects in how proteins are synthesised. And, this provided an even more intricate view of the tumours biological make up and what might have led to her cancer, says the team. A review of well-characterised cancer-related genes found that a mutation resided in the TP53 gene, a mutation in the tumour (one base change in the genetic code), and that the mutation was always present in both the DNA and RNA. Such a mutation can halt the creation of tumour suppressor genes and result in the generation of a tumour. Read more…

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