Lung cancer genetic factors revealed

In collaboration with the Press Association

A study part-funded by Cancer Research UK has revealed small genetic variations that may slightly increase a person's chances of developing lung cancer, the most common form of cancer in the world.

However, the report emphasised that genetic causes remain a minor contributor to lung cancer risk compared to smoking, which causes nine out of ten cases of lung cancer.

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) study, which examined more than 4,000 people, found 64 types of gene fault that could be involved in the development of the disease.

"The exact nature of lung cancer susceptibility is extremely complex, it is important to remember that tobacco smoke is far and away the biggest risk factor for lung cancer," said lead researcher professor Richard Houlston of the ICR.

"While our research indicates that certain individuals could be at a higher risk of developing the disease it has been proven that the majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by tobacco smoke."

The researchers called for further study to examine possible genetic involvement more closely

In the UK, a round 37,500 people are diagnosed and 33,000 are killed from lung cancer every year.

Find out more about lung cancer