Tobacco, air pollution, environmental carcinogenesis, and thoughts on conquering strategies of lung cancer

Guangbiao Zhou


Each year there will be an estimated 2.1 million new lung cancer cases and 1.8 million lung cancer deaths worldwide. Tobaccosmoke is the No.1 risk factors of lung cancer, accounting for > 85% lung cancer deaths. Air pollution, or haze, comprises ambientair pollution and household air pollution, which are reported to cause 252,000 and 304,000 lung cancer deaths each year,respectively. Tobacco smoke and haze (hereafter, smohaze) contain fine particles originated from insufficient combustion ofbiomass or coal, have quite similar carcinogens, and cause similar diseases. Smohaze exert hazardous effects on exposedpopulations, including induction of a large amount of mutations in the genome, alternative splicing of mRNAs, abnormalities inepigenomics, initiation of tumor-promoting chronic inflammation, and facilitating immune escape of transformed cells. Tacklingsmohaze and development of multi-targets-based preventive and therapeutic approaches targeting smohaze-inducedcarcinogenesis are the key to conquer lung cancer in the future.

Cite this article as: Zhou G. Tobacco, air pollution, environmentalcarcinogenesis, and thoughts on conquering strategies of lung cancer. CancerBiol Med. 2019; 16: 700-13. doi: 10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2019.0180


Lung cancer; tobacco smoke; air pollution; smohaze; carcinogenesis

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