Researchers have identified a link between a mutation in PARK2, a gene associated with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and familial lung cancer.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), in collaboration with other colleagues of the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium (GELCC), identified this gene through whole exome sequencing.

The research team sequenced the exomes of individuals from a family with multiple cases of lung cancer and then studied the PARK2 gene in other families affected by lung cancer.

Donghai Xiong, PhD, lead author of the paper, explains, “While this specific mutation is very rare in the general population, there was a significant association between the PARK2 mutation we studied and the families with multiple cases of lung cancer.”

Ming You, MD, PhD, director of the MCW Cancer Center, adds, “These results implicate this specific mutation as a genetic susceptibility factor for lung cancer, and provide an additional rationale for further investigations of this gene and this mutation for evaluation of the possibility of developing targeted therapies against lung cancer in individuals with PARK2 variants.”

Source: Medical College of Wisconsin