By Marilyn Chase
April 19 (Bloomberg) — Smokers with high levels of two chemicals in their urine were more likely than others in a study to get lung cancer, a finding that may lead to a new test to predict risk in time to prevent or treat the disease.
High levels of these chemical byproducts of tobacco smoke in the urine were linked to lung-cancer rates as much as 8.5 times higher than those of other smokers, said Jian-Min Yuan, the study leader and an associate professor of public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He spoke in Denver today at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting.
Lung tumors are the most lethal form of cancer in the U.S., spurring 161,840 deaths and 215,020 new cases in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society, based in Atlanta. While there are about 60 possible carcinogens in tobacco smoke, pinpointing byproducts, or metabolites, that may spur the malignancies may help prevention, Yuan said.
“If we can identify a smoker with a high level of metabolites, and down the road they have a higher risk of lung cancer, public health workers can get them motivated to quit smoking,” Yuan said in an April 16 telephone interview. “If they can’t quit, we can do more intensive screening to find very small lung cancers that can be treated.”….read more here…