Research on the cause of lung cancer has been one of exhaustive studies. Much research in recent years has attempted to answer the question of why some individuals whom share similar traits, such as smokers, develop lung cancer, while others from the same cohort do not. Some studies have indicated nicotine addiction may play a role, along with other environmental conditions.
More recent studies point to the cause of lung cancer as possibly genetic. While researchers insist environmental factors, such as smoking, asbestos exposure, etc., play a role in the development of the disease, there is growing evidence that the answer to the question is at the gene level. Several studies have pointed to gene variations on chromosome 15 (of 23) as a possible culprit to cancer cell development. Findings based on this research and published by journal-publishing group, Nature, suggest these variations increase an individuals chance of developing cancer by as much as 30%.
Due to the increasing data indicating that lung cancer, along with other types, develop based upon variations at the cellular level there has been a trend towards research on treatment at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. One of the growing trends involves the use of nanotechnology in health care. Scientists hope to be able one day to use this form of technology to change the way drugs are delivered to the body to provide treatment for lung cancer.
Nanotechnology involves the study of manipulating matter at the molecular and atomic levels. Through research in this field scientists are able to develop new materials with unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties. It is hoped that lung cancer and other chronic disease will one day be treated with developments from such technology.
With new technology in the battle against lung cancer there are a number of questions being raised about safety and ethics in the field. Previous research has noted that nanoparticles tend to travel to the lungs. Damage to lungs is a main concern by many in the field associated to the use of nanotechnology.
This fact of documented dangers to lungs from nanoparticles has been a roadblock for researchers and scientist. Now scientists believe they have discovered how a particular type of nanoparticles causes lung cancer, along with how to block that devlepment. Though still in early stages, the research by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences is promising and will likely lead to highly positive developments in the fight against lung cancer and other various chronic diseases.