Sharon Pine, PhD, a researcher at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Medicine of Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has been awarded a two-year, $80,000 dollar research grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation. The funding will support study on the early detection and prevention of lung cancer. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Smoking is the most common risk factor for developing lung cancer. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the risk of developing lung cancer is about 23 times higher in male smokers and 13 times higher in female smokers, as compared to lifelong nonsmokers. Research has shown that certain genetic factors may predispose some individuals to be more susceptible to developing cancer than others, particularly after being exposed to tobacco smoke or environmental pollutants. Dr. Pine and colleagues will explore changes in DNA - one's genetic code - within the energy generating portion of the cell, known as the mitochondria.