OANA MIRON, ADINA MAGDALENA TURCANU, BOGDAN MIHNEA CIUNTU, VLADIMIR POROCH, DANIEL TIMOFTE THE BIOCHEMICAL EFFECT OF SMOKING ON THE RESPONSE TO CHEMOTHERAPY
Improvements in early detection of cancer have led to an important decrease in mortality rates of cancer. Given the increased incidence rates and decreased mortality rates, the number of patients surviving cancer is rapidly increasing. Although cancer patients face many physical and psychological symptoms, they also continue to engage in poor health behaviors at rates similar to those of the general-healthy population. The prime example of such unhealthy behavior is smoking. The reports show that smoking rates at the time of diagnosis of cancer vary from 10% to 95%. Our study analyzed how the smoking status influenced the outcome of chemotherapy of 249 patients suffering from various forms of cancer. Our statistical analysis showed that patients who smoked had a significant different response to chemotherapy compared to their nonsmoking peers. This meant that in our sample of 149 cancer suffering patients, individuals who did not smoke had a significant better chance of a partial positive response after chemotherapy compared to patients who smoked regularly. Therefore, tobacco smoking is an adverse prognostic factor associated with a resistance to chemotherapy. These results are important given the fact that cancer patients already face a combination of unpleasant symptoms related to their disease but also from the side effects of their treatment. Uncovering the exact mechanisms through which smoking is affecting the outcome of chemotherapy may help in increasing the quality of life, the symptom burden or the final outcome of chemotherapy.
Keywords: cancer, chemotherapy, tobacco, smoking, side effects, biochemical mechanisms, cancer treatment