Wolves may help us cure cancer

Christa Avampato
1 min readFeb 14, 2024
Photo by Dr. Cara Love: https://www.caranlove.com/chernobyl

While fairytales and mythology often vilify wolves, they are a species who provides us with so many benefits. They keep our ecosystems healthy, restore balance to wild lands, and for thousands of years their descendants have served as companions to us. Now, they may also help us cure cancer.

Wolves living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone might have developed a resistance to cancer. Dr. Cara Love, an evolutionary biologist and ecotoxicologist at Princeton University, has been studying the wolves by taking blood samples to see how they respond to the radiation that remains in the air from the disaster that happened in Ukraine in 1986.

Every year, these wolves are exposed to 40 times the limit of radiation the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers safe. Their immune systems resemble people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer treatment, and their genetics show they have developed a resistance to the disease.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has halted Dr. Love’s research. She hopes one day she will be able to continue to study them and use her research to help human cancer patients.

Credit to Now This Earth for elevating this incredible research.

Read more about Dr. Love’s research on these wolves here: https://www.caranlove.com/chernobyl



Christa Avampato

Award-winning author & writer—Product Dev — Biomimicry scientist — Podcaster. Runs on curiosity & joy. twitter.com/christanyc / instagram.com/christarosenyc