Posted by: audreybenenati | June 2, 2010

Gene Study Makes ‘Alarming’ Find in Smokers – AOL Health


By Alyssa Sparacino

May 27th 2010 11:59 AM

In a stunning discovery, doctors detected tens of thousands of gene mutations in a tumor removed from a patient with lung cancer caused by heavy smoking.U.S. researchers from Genentech, the biotechnology unit of drug manufacturer Roche in California, found about 50,000 genetic mutations in an extracted tumor of a 51-year-old male patient who smoked an average of 25 cigarettes a day for 15 years, Reuters reported.

The team, whose study appears in the journal Nature, compared the tumor’s genetic changes with the man’s healthy tissue.

“Fifty thousand is a huge number,” Genentech’s Zemin Zhang said during a phone interview with Reuters. “No one has ever reported such a high number. This is likely associated with the smoking history of the patient. It is very alarming.

“The team at Genentech rechecked all their work in order to make sure they hadn’t made a mistake in their calculations, but the results showed they were correct and no other unusual factors related to the patient or his tumor played a role.Previous studies suggest gene mutation takes place with each cigarette smoked, according to Reuters. With this particular patient, Zhang said the analysis revealed that for every three cigarettes he smoked, one genetic mutation occurred…Gene Study Makes ‘Alarming’ Find in Smokers – AOL Health.

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