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Impact of Cigarette Smoke on the Normal Airway Transcriptome*

Avrum Spira, MD; Frank Schembri, MD; Jennifer Beane; Vishal Shah; Gang Liu, PhD; Jerome S. Brody, MD
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*From The Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine (Drs. Spira, Schembri, Liu, and Brody); and the Bioinformatics Program, Boston University, Boston, MA (Dr. Spira, Ms. Beane, and Mr. Shah).

Correspondence to: Avrum Spira, MD, The Pulmonary Center, 715 Albany St, R3, Boston, MA 02118-2526; e-mail: aspira@lung. bumc.bu.edu



Chest. 2004;125(5_suppl):115S. doi:10.1378/chest.125.5_suppl.115S
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It is unclear whether all smokers respond at a molecular level to cigarette smoke in the same fashion or whether smokers destined to develop cancer display early changes in gene expression that are premalignant in nature. Several studies12 have shown that smoking produces a “field defect” in the lung and its airways, such that molecular changes occur throughout the respiratory tract. To determine whether the molecular field defect is similar in all smokers, we have begun a study of gene expression profiles of airway epithelial cells obtained during bronchoscopy from normal nonsmokers and compared the airway transcriptome to that in smokers without cancer.

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