Variations in a gene that influences the innate immune system?the part of the immune system that provides short-term protection against infection?may be associated with lung cancer survival.
Curtis Harris, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined whether any of five variations of the MBL2 gene influenced survival among 558 white patients and 173 African-American patients with non?small-cell lung cancer.
Some gene variants were associated with improved survival among white patients, but not African-American patients. White patients who did not have the gene variants had poorer survival, particularly the heavy smokers.
?This study may provide insight into the continued disparity in lung cancer survival between African-American and white patients,? the authors write.