Tobacco Smoking Stops Cancer-Fighting Proteins

tobacco smoking

The scientists at the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR) revealed that tobacco smoking can cause cancer. Moreover, it makes it harder to treat because the body’s anti-cancer safeguards are undermined.

The study was published in Science Advances. It links tobacco to harmful changes in DNA called ‘ stop-gain mutations’, which inform the body to stop making specific proteins before they are fully formed.

Furthermore, they also found that these stop-gain mutations were prevalent in genes called ‘tumour suppressors’. They make proteins that generally prevent abnormal cell growth.

Nina Adler, who led the study, said,

Our study showed that smoking is associated with changes to DNA that disrupt the formation of tumor suppressors,

Without them, abnormal cells are allowed to keep growing unchecked by the cell’s defenses and cancer can develop more easily.

The DNA of more than 12,000 tumour samples across eighteen types of cancers was analyzed using powerful computational tools. Furthermore, the analysis showed a strong link between stop-gain mutations in lung cancer. In addition to a telltale ‘footprint’ that is caused by smoking on the DNA.

The researchers concluded that smoking can cause more harmful mutations, ultimately making cancer hard to treat.

Reimand, OICR Investigator and Associate Professor at UofT said,

Tobacco does a lot of damage to our DNA, and that can have a major impact on the function of our cells,

Our study highlights how tobacco smoking actually deactivates critical proteins, which are the building blocks of our cells, and the impact that can have on our long-term health.

Adler further added that smoking is an important puzzle piece for the leading cause of cancer.

Everyone knows that smoking can cause cancer, but being able to explain one of the ways this works at a molecular level is an important step in understanding how our lifestyle affects our risk of cancer,

OICR President and Scientific Director Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi that these insights prove that tobacco smoking is a big health hazard.

This is further proof of the immense damage smoking has on our bodies, and further evidence that stopping smoking is always the right choice,

Previous articleAural Myiasis in a 64-Year-Old
Next articleMenopause ToolKit Updates for Improved Treatment
Dr. Armash Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor's degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is skilled in general dentistry and is an experienced medical content writer. She also works as a Science Instructor for Little Medical School, which is a STEM-based learning program for kids. Her future plans are to work for the betterment of dentistry for the underprivileged in Pakistan, apply for postgraduation, and specialize in Paediatric Dentistry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here