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,
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,
Adler further added that smoking is an important puzzle piece for the leading cause of cancer.
OICR President and Scientific Director Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi that these insights prove that tobacco smoking is a big health hazard.