The dramatic relationship between tobacco use and lungs’ cancer this is more than understandable. One need only look at the range of measures that have been developed over the past decades to reduce both direct consumption and indirect smoking for cohabitation with smokers. The problem is that there are other risk factors that cannot be controlled as easily as tobacco use. This is the case, for example, with environmental pollution. It can also increase the chance of developing lung cancer, although the reasons for this have not always been clear. Now, thanks to a study presented this weekend at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, we have a better understanding of this relationship.

And that, according to its authors, from the Francis Crick Institute and University College Londonthe key is in the mutation, which active in the presence of contaminants. In particular, these are the smallest particles known as PM2.5which seem to have more impact. They come from the consumption of fossil fuels, which also increase the greenhouse effect. But in this case, it’s a completely different effect.

The study demonstrating this also points to inflammatory mediator as one of the protagonists of this terrible effect. Thus, not only the importance of reducing pollution levels is demonstrated. Also described is the purpose for which some specific treatments may be directed.

Lung Cancer Draw Tickets

Initially, the authors of this study focused on mutation in the EGFR genewhich is known to be present in about half of people with lung cancer who have never smoked.

Both this and other types of cancer have a high genetic componentbut also ecological. For this reason, the medical records of people living in different points were reviewed on this occasion. UK, South Korea and Taiwan, looking for some environmental trigger that might amplify the effect of this mutation. And they found it.

In fact, they found that the likelihood of developing cancer was quite low in those people who had the mutation and lived in places with low levels of pollution. On the contrary, those who are exposed very high levels of PM 2.5 particles were much more likely to develop non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, this effect was found in a second mutation located in the gene RED.

This shows that in this case, the environment, in addition to tobacco, is of paramount importance. It goes without saying that both mutations, which usually appear in lung cells as a result of aging, were not in themselves as dangerous as previously thought.

Target to attack when contaminated

Another fact that has caught the attention of these scientists is that in people with these mutations, pollution also causes an influx into lung cells. macrophages. These are cells of the immune system whose role is to find damaged cells or foreign agents and swallow them so that they do not harm the body. said very roughThey eat the enemy. The problem is that they also release pro-inflammatory substances which can become quite harmful if they accumulate. This is the case interleukin-1βwhich in this case is doubly harmful, as it promotes the multiplication of cells affected by the EGFR mutation, subjected to contamination.

The good part is that if this substance is blocked, it can stop the progression of lung cancer. For this reason, these scientists are already working on the study of possible drugs aimed at this goal. In fact, their study is consistent with the results of previous studies in which an improvement in prognosis in patients with lung cancer who received antibodies to interleukin-1βaimed at get her off the stage.

Logically, the best thing would be to look for new ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Thus, the problem will be nipped in the bud. Meanwhile, it does not hurt to act against its consequences.

Source: Hiper Textual

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