About sharing Image source, Thinkstock Smoking and the breast cancer risk gene BRCA2 combine to "enormously" increase the chance of developing lung cancer, a study of 27, people has suggested.
The research, published in the journal Naturefound the gene could double the likelihood of getting lung cancer. And some men and women faced a far greater risk, a team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London said.
Cancer Research UK suggested drugs targeted at breast cancer may work in some lung cancers.
The links between variants of the BRCA genes and breast prostate cancer research uk are well established - a diagnosis led Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to have a preventative double mastectomy - but it has also been linked with an increased risk of other cancers affecting women such as ovarian cancer and prostate cancer in men.
The study compared the genetic codes of people with and without lung cancer.
Smokers have 40 times the chance of developing lung cancer, but those with a BRCA2 mutation were nearly 80 times more likely, the analysis showed. A quarter of those carrying the mutation, and who also smoke, will go on to develop lung cancer, the research team said.
The discovery could mean treatments that are being developed for breast cancer may also work in some cases of lung cancer.