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University of Hawaii Cancer Center receives $2.8 million to study ethnic disparities in smoking-related lung cancer

  • COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
                                S. Lani Park

    COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

    S. Lani Park

  • COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
                                Leonora Loo

    COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

    Leonora Loo

University of Hawaii Cancer Center received a $2.8 million grant to study smoking-related lung cancer disparities between ethnic and racial populations.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health awarded the grant, and the study will be led by UH Cancer Center associate researchers S. Lani Park and Lenora Loo.

“This is the first study of its kind to molecularly characterize smoking-related lung cancer across different racial and ethnic groups. Lung tumor biology may be a key contributor to the disparities in lung cancer risk and survival,” Park said in a news release yesterday by UH.

The ethnic populations involved are African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, Native Hawaiians and whites.

Previous work by the UH Cancer Center has shown that Native Hawaiians and African Americans have a greater risk of lung cancer compared to whites, while Japanese Americans and Latinos have a lower risk than all three groups.

“We hope that the findings from this study will provide new information on the biological mechanisms that contribute to the racial and ethnic disparities of lung cancer, so that new personalized treatment targets and strategies can be developed to mitigate these disparities,” said Loo.

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