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Smoking addiction is a function of the combination of host (e.g. genetically-determined) and environment that is quantifiable. This knowledge can be used to intervene and change human behaviour

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Genetics of Smoking Outcomes and Knowledge Effects ties in AMP-PEL germline genetic association analyses with patient reported outcomes in smoking, and extends it to potential future interventions.


Research question:

What are the host (genetic) and environmental factors affecting smoking cessation in head and neck cancer patients? Can this information be harnessed to help improve permanent smoking cessation rates?



GENE-SMOKE is the culmination of a decade of separate research areas: AMP-PEL’s evaluation of germline genetic variants and prognostic associations of smoking behaviour, with ON-PROST’s technological pilot studies involving electronic collection of smoking data (CLINTA). This new area of research of the G. Liu laboratory is now exploring multiple avenues for expansion.


Scientific Goals:

(1)    To replicate and adapt existing PRS (polygenic risk models) of smoking cessation to the head and neck cancer setting.

(2)    To implement a pilot study of smoking cessation counselling involving genetic information.  


Funding Sources:

Cancer Care Ontario, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Department of Medicine and Division of Medical Oncology, University of Toronto through its Comprehensive Research Experiment for Medical Students (CREMS) program, Harry Barberian Resident’s Research Award, Canadian Association for Medical Oncologists Fellowship Award.

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