Researchers have identified a gene linked to increased lung cancer susceptibility and development. This gene, called RGS17, could result in a genetic predisposition to develop lung cancer particularly in those with a strong family history of the disease.
Using a genetically altered mouse model, researchers determined that when RGS17 was suppressed, lung tumors shrank, proving the gene was involved in cancer development and must be present for cancer growth.
“What was most interesting is that this same gene was over-expressed in 60 percent of the samples from non-hereditary lung tumors,” explains Anderson. “This suggests that perhaps epigenetic factors may be contributing to abnormal genetic development.”