Most cases of never-smokers’ lung cancer treatable with mutation-targeting drugs

Despite smoking’s well-known role in causing lung cancer, a significant number of patients who develop lung tumors have never smoked. While scientists are still working to understand what spurs cancer in so-called ‘never-smokers,’ a study suggests that 78% to 92% of lung cancers in patients who have never smoked can be treated with precision drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to target specific mutations in a patient’s tumor. Source

Memory killer T cells are primed in the spleen during influenza infection

CD8+ T cells — known as “killer” T cells — are the assassins of the immune system. Once they are primed, they seek out and destroy other cells that are infected with virus or cells that are cancerous. Priming involves dendritic cells — sentinels of the immune system. In an influenza infection in the lungs, for example, lung-migratory dendritic cells capture a piece of the viral antigen, and then migrate out of the lung to the place where naïve T cells reside, to present that antigen to the CD8+ T cells. This primes the T cells to know which cells to attack. The place for the priming in influenza had long been thought to be restricted to a single anatomical site — the lung-draining, mediastinal lymph nodes that lie between the lungs and the spine. This lymph node-centric paradigm now has been challenged. Source

Study illuminates origins of lung cancer in never smokers

A genomic analysis of lung cancer in people with no history of smoking has found that a majority of these tumors arise from the accumulation of mutations caused by natural processes in the body. This study describes three molecular subtypes of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. These insights will help unlock the mystery of how lung cancer arises in people who have no history of smoking and may guide the development of more precise clinical treatments. Source