Researchers at Harvard University have found that smokers with COPD may face nearly twice the risk of getting small cell lung cancer (SCLC) than those without the disease. For the study, researchers analyzed data from 24 case-control studies from the International Lung Cancer Consortium, which included 4,346 individuals with SCLC and 37,942 without the disease.

According to a University Herald news report, the analysis showed that smokers with COPD had a 1.86-fold higher risk of SCLC than smokers. In addition, the researchers determined that COPD accounted for 8% of SCLC cases among smokers.

David Christiani, senior author of the study, says, “This work suggests that we need to tease out the mechanisms by which COPD may increase lung cancer risk in smokers, and to conduct clinical trials to determine whether treating COPD in former and current smokers lessens that risk.”

The findings are detailed in the journal EBioMedicine.

Source: University Herald