Health Discoveries in Lung Cancer

HPV may have a link to lung cancer

April 11, 2011
Although most closely associated with cervical cancer, researchers have found the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also be linked to lung cancer.

The sexually-transmitted virus has been found in some lung cancer patients, but its place in the development of the disease hasn't been determined, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

"Determining the physical presence of the virus in these lung tumors along with other established markers of HPV-related cancer are necessary to establish a causal relationship," said researcher Devasena Anantharaman of the agency's Genetic Epidemiology Group.

The study, presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, found that among more than 4,000 study participants, those with lung cancer had increased chances of having types of HPV that are considered serious.

Anantharaman said it is not known whether the HPV vaccine would have any effect on a patient with lung cancer.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, several lung cancer clinical trials under way, including one that is studying whether a combination of certain chemotherapy drugs can slow the growth of tumors in patients recently diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
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