Impact of Environmental Tobacco Smoke on the Incidence of Mutations in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Gene in Never-Smoker Patients With Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

The heading  is long, but the fact is short and brief: if someone around you smokes, you are a smoker, too.  The never smoker non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have high percentage of EGFR mutations in their tumor cells than smokers, and these mutations make the neoplastic cells(cancer cells) prone to anti-neoplastic effects of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKI) such as erlotinib, or gefitinib. Nevertheless, the smokers’ cancer cells mostly do not have these mutations, so no clear benefit from TKI’s is generally achieved.

Dr. Young Joo Lee, and his colleagues has shown that environmental tobacco smoke exposure is negatively associated with EGFR mutations in never smokers with NSCLC.

So the motto of smokers should not be: “Live (smoke) and let die!”

 Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 28, No 3 (January 20), 2010: pp. 487-492

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