What About Non-Smoking Lung Cancer?


Lung cancer interception research and strategies are trying to make up ground on the often-missed risk group.

Non-smoking lung cancer prevalence is becoming more recognized in its field. However, advances in more precise screening—and therefore, individualized care—are lacking.

In the November episode of Lungcast, a monthly podcast series from HCPLive and the American Lung Association (ALA) a pair of investigators from the Lung Cancer Interception research team sat down with ALA chief medical officer Albert Rizzo, MD, to discuss their team’s work into lung cancer interception.

Among their topics of discussion was the need for advances in identifying and treating non-smoking lung cancer risk—a priority which has grown to be greater in recent years.

The guests—Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, and Steven Dubinett, MD—explained how advances made in tobacco-related disease in facts informs this next step in their path to lung cancer interception, from new technologies to identified immune modulators.

“Right now, we know much more about smoking-related lung cancer, but over time we will be catching up and having something more meaningful for those at risk but don’t smoke,” Dubinett, director of the UCLA Clinical & Translational Science Institute, said.

Spira, professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics, and the Alexander Graham Bell Professor in Health Care Entrepreneurship at Boston University, acknowledged the majority of focus in cohorts which would constitute the Lung Cancer Interception research team’s lung ‘atlas’ is comprised of current or former smokers.

It may be in pre-malignant adenocarcinoma risk that investigators may find more non-smoking cohorts.

“I do believe we have the potential to impact the way we diagnose and potentially intercept pre-malignant patients who are non-smokers with adenocarcinomas,” Spira said.

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