Washington: A common virus known to cause cervical and head and neck cancers may also trigger some cases of lung cancer, according to new research led by an Indian-origin scientist.The study by Fox Chase Cancer Center in US examined tissue samples from lung cancer patients and found that nearly 6 per cent showed signs they may have been driven by a strain of human papillomavirus (HPV) known to cause cancer.If HPV indeed plays a role in lung cancer in some patients, the next step is to better understand those tumours so they can be treated more effectively."The ultimate goal is to determine if we can target our therapies to the specific characteristics of these tumours," said study author Ranee Mehra, attending physician in medical oncology at Fox Chase.Studies from Asia have shown that lung tumours are frequently infected with HPV. The pattern makes sense, explained Mehra - the lungs are located near the head and neck region, which is known to be at risk of tumours upon exposure to some strains of HPV.
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