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The link between air pollution and NSCLC – in people who have never smoked

In a late-breaking abstract Charles Swanton presents a study of nearly half a million people showing that exposure to increasing concentrations of airborne particulate matter 2.5 μm in diameter was linked to increased risk of NSCLC with mutations in the EGFR gene.

The pollutant particles can directly cause lung cancer by acting through lung tissue inflammation, driving the release of interleukin-1β that causes epithelial cells to transdifferentiate into cancer stem-like cells. In the presence of mutations in EGFR and KRAS, these cells can bloom into a tumor.

Charles Swanton

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