US Study: Differences Between Smoking and Non-Smoking Kidney Cancer Patients

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Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study titled, “Tobacco smoking induces metabolic reprogramming of renal cell carcinoma,” identified the need for developing personalized treatments for patients with this type of cancer.

Tumors from smokers presented with a separate metabolic subtype of kidney cancer, with their own specific set of weaknesses.

Building on previous studies which had identified the mutations of kidney cancer cells, the current study found differences in the metabolic fingerprints of tumors, that distinguish cancers in non-smokers from those in smokers.

Led by Maria Czyzyk-Krzeska, MD, PhD, a Professor at the UC Department of Cancer Biology, Jarek Meller, PhD, in Environmental and Public Health Sciences, and Julio Landero Figueroa, PhD, in Chemistry, a team of researchers analyzed the tissues of cancer patients who smoke and compared them to those of patients who don’t.

They found that tumors from smokers presented with a separate metabolic subtype of kidney cancer, with their own specific set of weaknesses. These could therefore benefit from a tailor made treatment strategy.

“Importantly, this integrated approach was key to identifying the major metabolic reprogramming in energy and biosynthesis, associated with the presence of cadmium and inorganic arsenic found in cigarettes, together with a distinct signature of copper in tumors from tobacco smokers,” said Maria Czyzyk-Krzeska.

Smokers would benefit from specialised treatments

The study author added that a specialized treatment could potentially lead to more favourable outcomes. “There is a need for an in-depth analysis of metabolic subtypes of these cancers to establish the best way to treat each individual tumor,” she says. “This is one of the earliest studies to establish that this type of analysis is necessary. Personalized, or precision medicine, has the promise of offering a specific and unique therapy based on the molecular landscape of each patient’s cancer. This has huge potential to change outcomes for patients, leading to better and longer lives.”

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