Three independent genetic studies have found some of the strongest evidence yet that your genes influence your risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer, the most common killer cancer in the world, is largely caused by smoking. Tobacco is thought to be responsible for about 5 million premature deaths every year and smoking is still clearly the largest risk factor. But the new results suggest that, amongst smokers, some people may be as much as 80% more at risk than others thanks to their genes.
By scanning the entire genomes of lung-cancer patients and healthy controls, the three research teams all identified a region on chromosome 15 that seems to influence the likelihood of developing cancer. People possessing a certain set of mutations at this genetic location are more likely than others to have the disease.