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Shigeharu Abe (clinical trial participant) and Noriko Abe

The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office (CTO) honored nearly 100 clinical trial participants during its First Annual H.E.R.O. (Helping Enhance Research in Oncology) event on Saturday, April 16, at the Hawaiʻi Prince Hotel.

“It cannot be overstated how important our clinical trial participants are in the advancement of cancer research,” said Mendy Dunn, CTO clinical manager. “Our medical heroes are our patients who choose to enroll in clinical trials. This event was to recognize those patients that have opted to give of themselves, their time, their data, their information, their test results, to allow us to continue to grow our knowledge about reducing the burden of cancer for people in Hawaiʻi and around the world.”

“I think it’s really neat because when I was on the clinical trial it felt in some ways that I was alone on the journey and to see so many others at this event, that’s just incredible to see that I wasn’t on the journey alone and to reassure these people that they are not alone," said Mari Galiher, clinical trial participant.

“I wanted to participate in some volunteer program to help not only myself, but other breast cancer patients,” said Gwen Ho, clinical trial participant.

More about the UHv Cancer Center clinical trials

Since the center was founded in 1971, thousands of Hawaiʻi residents have participated in UH Cancer Center coordinated clinical trials. Currently the UH Cancer Center is running about 150 active national trials of new treatments and technologies for adults and children, following about 1,000 patients and enrolling about 120 new clinical trial patients each year.

The local residents participating in the trials include on average more than 15 percent underserved and minority populations who have access to the most innovative and latest treatments without having to travel and live on the mainland. The participants are enrolled in the trials through consortium partners and community physician practice groups.

The data collected from the trials helps researchers answer important health questions related to cancer, as well as helps them discover new treatments and preventative interventions.

UH Cancer Center and John A. Burns School of Medicine hula performers

To see more photos from the event go to the UH Cancer Center’s Flickr album.

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