Lung Cancer in ‘Never-Smokers’: Molecular Factors Trump Risk Factors
January 15, 2010ByGregory J. Riely, MD, PhD
While they represent a minority of patients with lung cancer, more than 20,000 people in the United States who never smoked cigarettes are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. This makes lung cancer in “never-smokers” one of the 10 most common cancers-more common than ovarian cancer. In this issue of ONCOLOGY, Subramanian and Govindan give an overview of emerging data about lung cancer in never-smokers. The data outlined in this review provide support for the hypothesis that we can define this collection of diseases affecting never-smokers not by the absence of a common risk factor (smoking) but by each tumor’s molecular features.