Smoking plays a role in lung cancer development, and now scientists have shown that smoking also affects the way genes are expressed, leading to alterations in cell division and regulation of immune response. Notably, some of the changes in gene expression persisted in people who had quit smoking many years earlier. In addition to being causally linked to the formation of multiple tumor types, tobacco use has been associated with decreased efficacy of anticancer treatment and reduced survival time. A detailed understanding of the cellular mechanisms that are affected by tobacco smoke (TS) should facilitate the development of improved preventive and therapeutic strategies.
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