Molecular epidemiology of lung cancer

Published on January 31, 2022   57 min

A selection of talks on Clinical Practice

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Hello, I'm Dr. David Christiani, I'm the Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.
It's my pleasure today to speak about an update in the epidemiology of lung cancer. We know much about the epidemiology of lung cancer from studies that began in the US and the UK, back in the 50s, but our nuanced understanding has evolved in the recent decade or so. And for that, I want to update you today and give a global perspective, review risk and protective factors for lung cancer and review where we're at with lung cancer and tobacco smoking, given insights from consortium studies that encompass large numbers of people, participant numbers that are much larger than the original studies in the 50s and 60s, add new information on genetic susceptibility factors and wrap up with future directions.
Lung cancer remains the most common cancer worldwide, excluding skin cancer, accounting for 2.1 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths in 2018. Worldwide, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in men and the second leading cause in women, and in higher-income countries, it is now the leading cause of death in women, as well. About 58 percent of lung cancer cases occurred in low and middle-income countries as of 2018, so the impact is now much more global than before. Smoking remains the principal cause of lung cancer in the world, but in some areas, other environmental causes are very important. Now, when we look at lung cancer types,