National Cancer Institute boosts UH Cancer Center support to $8.4M

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Nana Ohkawa, (808) 564-5911
Dir. of Communications, University of Hawaii Cancer Center
Posted: Jun 17, 2019

UH Cancer Center researchers
UH Cancer Center researchers

Link to video and sound:
(Shot list and sound bites below)

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has increased support of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center under the Cancer Center Support Grant from $5.7 million to $8.4 million, and has extended the term of the current NCI designation by an additional year to July 2022. The funding supports core research infrastructure at the UH Cancer Center that is essential for researchers to conduct studies targeted at reducing the burden of cancer for the people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

“We are extremely pleased that the National Cancer Institute has recognized the incredible contributions that our investigators have made toward understanding the etiologies of cancer and toward the development of novel cancer prevention and treatment approaches,” said UH Cancer Center Director Randall Holcombe.

In addition to basic laboratory and population-based research, the center conducts cancer prevention and control research and provides access to clinical trials for most of the patients in the state in collaboration with clinical partners in the Hawai‘i Cancer Consortium. Among the many highlights noted by NCI at the time of the last review in 2018, the Community Outreach and Engagement component of the UH Cancer Center was rated as “exceptional,” the highest rating possible. This is a reflection of the commitment of the UH Cancer Center to serving the people of Hawai‘i.

"The University of Hawai‘i is proud to receive this increase in support from the National Cancer Institute," said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. "This provides well-deserved national recognition of the important work we are doing and our path forward. Over the past three years, the Cancer Center has excelled in generating significant new discoveries and insights in cancer research, and in translating these discoveries into advances that will help cancer patients and those at risk for this debilitating disease. We are always mindful of our responsibility as the only cancer research center serving Hawai‘i and the Pacific.” 

The UH Cancer Center has 69 full-time faculty members based at the center and at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, the Office of Public Health and the departments of Chemistry and Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences at UH Mānoa, and UH Hilo’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. Overall, the center’s faculty bring in approximately $41 million in federal and private research support annually. In 2018, more than 3,500 people in Hawai‘i enrolled in some type of clinical research study directed by UH Cancer Center faculty.

“Our mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education, patient care and community outreach, with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural and environmental characteristics of Hawai‘i and the Pacific,” added Holcombe. “We are grateful for the support of the people of Hawai‘i, the governor and Legislature, the University of Hawai‘i and the National Cancer Institute so that we can work to fulfill this mission.”

About the UH Cancer Center
The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center through its various activities, cancer trial patients and their guests, and other visitors adds more than $54 million to the O‘ahu economy. Affiliated with UH Mānoa, it is one of only 70 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Learn more at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

Link to video and sound:

BROLL: (1 minute 30 seconds)
0:00-1:00, 10 clips: research in the Cancer Center

1:00-1:30, 5 clips: external shots of the Cancer Center

Dr. Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director

(16 seconds)
“Weʻre all very pleased that the National Cancer Institute has recognized UH Cancer Center as one of its premier cancer centers in the program. There are 70 across the country that are designated by the national cancer institute and weʻre one of those 70.”

(19 seconds)
“No one else is really studying the people of Hawaiʻi except for us. So the research we do here looks for the origins of cancer and also looks to develop new treatments for people with cancer and also new ways to intervene to prevent cancer in our population.”

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