UofL Scientist Receives $6.7 million To Learn How Metals Cause Lung Cancer

For nearly three decades, John P. Wise Sr. has investigated the connection between exposure to metals and cancer, working both in the lab and in the field, reporting significant discoveries about the effects of metals on chromosomes in lung cancer and how those effects differ in humans and in whales.

According to the ACS, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and Kentucky has the highest rates of lung cancer incidence and mortality of any state.  Despite the widely held perception that lung cancer is simply attributed to smoking, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 12 men who develop lung cancer never smoked.  In addition to the high rates of cancer, lung cancer has a five-year survival rate of 21%, one of the lowest of any cancer site.

Wise has studied metals-induced chromosome instability in humans and animals.  Through his field work in sampling skin and blubber from whales, Wise has discovered that while the animals are exposed to hexavalent chromium in the ocean, it results in much less chromosome instability and cancer.

Wise has assembled a team of researchers from around the world to investigate this process further with the hope that this knowledge ultimately will lead to ways of preventing and reversing metals-induced lung cancer in people.

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UofL scientist receives $6.7 million to learn how metals cause lung cancer

By Betty Coffman - January 26, 2022