Public Health: A Burning Issue

September 12, 2014

(Nature) – Cancer researchers have called this phenomenon a natural experiment. It’s a chance to study the aetiology of lung cancer that arises independently of its most notorious causative agent: tobacco smoking, says Dean Hosgood, who studies cancer and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “As tobacco smoking is decreasing, other factors are going to become a larger proportion of lung cancer cases,” he says. That shift makes investigating this group all the more valuable — and researchers are racing to identify the pathways involved in the disease, tease out the molecular signature of its mutations and flag genetic variants that make some people unusually prone to developing lung cancer.

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