Genetics and Genomics

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Section on Genetics and Genomics

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Publication Spotlight

Genomic Profiling of Lung Adenocarrcinoma in Never-Smokers

Author: Siddhartha Devarakonda, Yize Li, Fernanda Martins Rodrigues, Sumithra Sankararaman, Humam Kadara, Chandra Goparaju, Irena Lanc, Kymberlie Pepin, Saiama N Waqar, Daniel Morgensztern, Jeffrey Ward, Ashiq Masood, Robert Fulton, Lucinda Fulton, Michael A Gillette, Shankha Satpathy, Steven A Carr, Ignacio Wistuba, Harvey Pass, Richard K Wilson, Li Ding, Ramaswamy Govindan

Description: Despite the strong relationship between smoking and lung cancer, up to 40% of patients with lung cancer have never smoked. The most common histological subtype of lung cancer in never- smokers is lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). In this study whole-exome and RNA-sequencing data was generated on tumor and normal LUAD samples from never smokers to identify the potential genetic and environmental causes of lung cancer in these patients.

It was found that never smokers with lung cancer did not demonstrate a greater prevalence of cancer predisposing genes compared to never smokers, although a subset did show germline alterations in DNA repair genes. An additional subset had mutation signatures that were suggestive of passive exposure to cigarette smoke.  Most strikingly, there was evidence of a subgroup of never smokers who had a distinct clinically relevant immune phenotype characterized by expression of clinically relevant immune checkpoint molecules and immune cell composition.

These findings suggest the existence of clinically actionable driver mutations in never smokers who develop lung cancer and emphasize the need for comprehensive molecular analyses of never-smoker lung cancers in the clinic.

Ann Wu

Section Chair
Ann Wu, MD, MPH


Chair: Ann Wu, MD, MPH
Co-Chair: Ivana Yang, BS, PhD

Welcome to the ATS Section on Genetics and Genomics website! Our Section welcomes all members of the ATS, regardless of Assembly affiliation, who are interested in genetics, genomics, and other “omics” technologies (proteomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, etc.) as they relate to the many diseases encompassing the fields of respiratory, critical care, and sleep medicine. Our Section has grown to over 1,000 members making us one of the largest society-based interest groups for genetic and genomic investigators focused on respiratory, critical care, and sleep medicine research. The Section on Genetics and Genomics resides within Allergy, Inflammation, and Immunology, but our current members belong to numerous ATS assemblies reflecting the diverse application of omics approaches across our membership.

Genetics and genomics are at the forefront of scientific research and medical practice into the 21st century, and the number of investigators focusing on these technologies is rapidly expanding. Although the diseases encompassed by the ATS are diverse, omics-based approaches have common, overlapping themes that are beneficial to informing research and the application of cutting-edge technologies. As outlined in our mission statement, we aim to facilitate the exchange of ideas across omics researchers while increasing the knowledge and appreciation of genomics research across the broader ATS community. Section members have impacted the exchange of ideas in ATS through the programming of scientific events including quarterly journal clubs and webinars, workshops, scientific symposia, and the annual curation of over 200 abstracts submitted for the international conference. In addition, members have led and contributed to published research statements and workshops though the ATS, ERS, and NHLBI on lung precision medicine research, high-throughput sequencing, respiratory disease-related healthcare disparities, and the management of severe asthma resulting in national and international impact.

We encourage all clinicians, scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and trainees interested in genetics and genomics research to learn more about our Section. We hope to increase the understanding of omics technologies and their applications to enhance the ability of our scientific community to address impactful research questions which could lead to precision approaches for patient care.

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