Radon exposure tied to mutation burden in nonsmoker lung cancer

  • Lung Cancer

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Indoor radon exposure was associated with significantly higher tumor mutation burden (TMB) in patients with lung adenocarcinoma and no smoking history.
  • The mutational signature was associated with defective DNA mismatch repair.

Why this matters

  • Indoor radon exposure or residential radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer.

Study design

  • 41 patients with lung adenocarcinoma with no smoking history who lived in the same home for ≥2 years before diagnosis.
  • Funding: Korean Ministry of Environment; National Research Foundation.

Key results

  • Mean TMB/megabase was significantly higher in patients with high exposure to radon (>48 Bq/m3) vs those with low radon exposure (≤48 Bq/m3; 4.94 Mb vs 2.62 Mb; P=.01).
  • No differences in radon concentrations between patients with and without EGFR mutations.
  • Recurrence rates were similar between high and low radon exposure groups.
  • There were significant protein-protein interactions (PPI) between genes involved in DNA damage and repair (PPI enrichment, P<.001 in patients with high radon exposure.>
  • High radon exposure was associated with tumors with more mutated genes involved in DNA damage and repair (P<.01>

Limitations

  • Small sample size and all-Korean cohort.

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