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Loïc Le Marchand, MD, PhD, MPH, Awarded 2022 AACR Lectureship on Science of Cancer Health Disparities


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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has announced Loïc Le Marchand, MD, PhD, MPH, as the recipient of the 2022 AACR Distinguished Lectureship on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities. Dr. Le Marchand presented his award lecture, “Translating Multiethnic Epidemiological Research Into Innovative Interventions,” during the opening session of the 15th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.

Dr. Le Marchand is Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, and Cancer Disparities and a full member of the Population Sciences in the Pacific Program at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center (UHCC). Having built a research career dedicated to promoting the health of underserved racial and ethnic populations, Dr. Le Marchand is being honored for his significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the role of genetics, biomarkers, and health behaviors in ethnic/racial cancer disparities.

Loïc Le Marchand, MD, PhD, MPH

Loïc Le Marchand, MD, PhD, MPH

Groundbreaking Cancer Research

Dr. Le Marchand’s early research demonstrated that Japanese migrants to Hawaii were particularly susceptible to the effect of a Westernized lifestyle, resulting in altered colorectal cancer risk in such populations. Through a series of studies, his team determined that individuals of Japanese descent frequently carry genetic variants that allow them to more efficiently metabolize heterocyclic aromatic amines from smoking and consumption of well-done red meat into carcinogenic compounds.

Since 2012, Dr. Le Marchand has led the Multiethnic Cohort Study (MEC), a collaboration between the UHCC and the University of Southern California. The MEC investigates genetic, behavioral, and environmental risk factors and social determinants that impact cancer and health disparities.

Dr. Le Marchand was one of the first to observe racial and ethnic differences in lung cancer risk despite similar smoking history. Using data from a population-based case-control study in Hawaii and from the MEC, he discovered that after accounting for smoking history, African Americans and Native Hawaiians are at higher risk of developing lung cancer compared to Whites, Japanese Americans, and Latinos/Hispanics. 

 


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