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People who have ROS1+ NSCLC

People who have ROS1+ NSCLC

People who are diagnosed with ROS1+ NSCLC tend to be:
  • Younger than most people who are diagnosed with lung cancer5–7
    Many people with ROS1+ NSCLC are diagnosed in their 50s or 60s (most people with lung cancer are usually diagnosed around the age of 70)
  • Have never smoked, or only smoked a little, in the past5,6

Risk factors for developing ROS1+ NSCLC

Smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke are some of the most well-known causes of lung cancer.8 But a lot of people who develop ROS1+ NSCLC have never smoked, or only smoked a little, in the past.5,6

Developing lung cancer when you have little or no smoking history can be extremely frustrating, and you might find yourself looking for answers as to why you have developed lung cancer at all.

Right now, we don’t know exactly why some people develop a change in their ROS1 gene. But we do know that there are some factors that can cause lung cancers generally to start growing. However, it’s important to note that for some people, there may be no obvious reason as to why they have developed ROS1+ NSCLC.

Exposure to inhaled or eaten/drunk substances such as:
  • Asbestos9
  • Arsenic9
  • Non-tobacco smoke (e.g. burning buildings and wildfires, which may contain traces of metals and other substances that can cause cancer)9
  • Diesel exhaust9
  • Metals such as chromium, beryllium, and nickel (you might be exposed to these if you work with car engines, or around smelting or welding, for example)9
  • Pollution in the atmosphere around us10
Radiation exposure from:
  • X-rays, CT scans11
  • Radiotherapy to the chest area12
  • Radon exposure13
  • Radioactive fallout14
Family history
  • Inheritance isn’t guaranteed, but some people with a family history of lung cancer are more likely to develop it than people with no family history15
HIV infection
  • People who have HIV are up to three times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who don’t have it16,17

Click on one of the options below to learn more 

Deoxyribonucleic acid
Non-small cell lung cancer
C-ros oncogene 1

  1. Elliot J et al. PLoS One 2020; 15(2): e0229179.
  2. Cancer Research UK. Genes, DNA and cancer. 2020. Available at: Accessed October 2021.
  3. Davies KD and Doebele RC. Clin Cancer Res 2013; 19(15): 4040–4045.
  4. Sehgal K et al. Transl Cancer Res 2018; 7(Suppl 7): S779–S786.
  5. Park S et al. J Thorac Oncol 2018; 13(9): 1373–1382.
  6. Scheffler M et al. Oncotarget 2015; 6(12): 10577–10585.
  7. SEER cancer stat fact sheets: Lung and bronchus cancer. Available at: Accessed October 2021.
  8. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). NCCN clinical practice guideline in oncology: non-small cell lung cancer, Version v1 2022.
  9. Field RW, Withers BL. Clin Chest Med 2012; 33(4): 10.1016/j.ccm.2012.07.001.
  10. World Health Organization (WHO). Ambient (outdoor) air quality and health. 2018. Available at: Accessed October 2021.
  11. Berrington de González A et al. J Med Screen 2008; 15(3): 153–158.
  12. Friedman DL et al. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010; 102(14): 1083–1095.
  13. American Cancer Society. Radon and cancer. 2015. Available at: Accessed October 2021.
  14. Shimizu Y et al. Radiat Res 1990; 121(2): 120–141.
  15. Schwartz AG and Ruckdeschel JC. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005; 173(1): 16–22.
  16. Shiels MS et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2009; 52(5): 611–622.
  17. Winstone TA et al. Chest 2013; 143(2): 305–314.
  18. Patil T et al. J Thorac Oncol 2018; 13(11): 1717–1726.
  19. Shen L et al. Cancer Med 2020; 9(10): 3310–3318.
  20. D’Angelo A et al. Cancers (Basel) 2020; 12(11): 3293.