Aiming to better understand gender differences in lung cancer, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey radiation oncologist Sharad Goyal, is embarking on new research supported by an inaugural $400,000 LUNG FORCE Research Innovation Project: Lung Cancer in Women Award from the American Lung Association.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Lung cancer diagnoses have more than doubled among females in the past 38 years, while having fallen 29% among males, revealed the American Lung Association. The new work will explore whether radiation exposure from interventional cardiovascular procedures leads to increased risk of lung cancer in women as compared to men.
‘Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey radiation oncologist Sharad Goyal aims to better understand gender differences in lung cancer.’
"This research will allow me to explore questions that are important to both lung cancer patients and the medical community, as our findings may help reduce lung cancer incidence and mortality," says Dr. Goyal, who is an associate professor of radiation oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "If our work is able to show a potential difference between men and women in response to these types of tests, patients will have an opportunity to better understand the benefits and alternatives to medical imaging of the heart and will be better informed of their risk of developing lung cancer. I am grateful for this support from the American Lung Association."
As part of the work, Goyal will examine data from two statewide databases: the Myocardial Infarction Data Acquisition System and the New Jersey State Cancer Registry, the latter of which is housed in the New Jersey Department of Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute. In examining a cohort of nearly 800,000 patients exposed to ionizing radiation during specific heart procedures and more than 3.2 million unexposed patients, Goyal aims to define meaningful estimates of gender specific risk to developing lung cancer following radiation exposure.
"As both diagnostic and therapeutic radiotherapy are used more and more, a potential link between ionizing radiation and lung cancer needs to be thoroughly explored so that patients will better understand the impact of these technologies and what their potential risk may be. We are pleased that the American Lung Association has recognized Dr. Goyal's expertise as both a radiation oncologist and clinical researcher and is providing him with an opportunity to carry out this very important work," adds Rutgers Cancer Institute Interim Director Bruce G. Haffty, who is also professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.