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Researchers discover new disease mechanism in chronic tobacco smokers

May 21, 2018

Research published in the journal Clinical Science suggests that an immune signaling protein called interleukin (IL)-26 is increased among chronic smokers with lung disease and this involvement reveals disease mechanisms of interest for developing more effective therapy for these hard-to-treat patients.

Chronic tobacco smokers have a substantially increased rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and bacterial lung infections and these disorders respond poorly to currently available therapies. This is thought to be associated with the accumulation of a type of white blood cell, called neutrophils, in their airways.

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