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News Highlights

March 18, 2014

UH Cancer Center Director Receives National Award for Work on Mesothelioma
Foundation honors Dr. Michele Carbone's research into a rare and aggressive cancer

Dr. Michele Carbone

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation conferred its Pioneer Award on Dr. Michele Carbone during its national conference in Alexandria, VA. In the photo with Dr. Carbone are, on the left, Sandy Robb, and on the right, Mary Hesdorffer, nurse practitioner and executive director of the Foundation.
Photo courtesty of Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2014 Pioneer Award, a national honor bestowed by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

The Foundation awarded Dr. Carbone the recognition for his extensive contributions to the field of mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. It is known to be caused by exposure to mineral fibers such as asbestos and erionite.

The UH Cancer Center's thoracic oncology team, led by Dr. Carbone and Haining Yang, MD, PhD, has made seminal discoveries in the field of mesothelioma, including the identification of the gene, BAP1, as the cause of familial mesothelioma and melanoma, and of HMGB1 as the protein that promotes the growth of this malignancy. Dr. Carbone had previously worked with Dr. Izzetin Baris to uncover the mystery behind a devastating mesothelioma epidemic in certain villages in a remote area in Turkey. Their research lead the Turkish government to relocate the villagers to a safer location, and to the discovery that mesothelioma can be caused by a genetic predisposition that runs in families.

The Pioneer Award is the latest professional recognition for Dr. Carbone, who was recently ranked by as one of the top mesothelioma experts in the world. In February, he delivered the very prestigious Grand Rounds lecture at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, and hosted mesothelioma researchers from around the world during a symposium at the UH Cancer Center.

The Foundation's Pioneer Award honors scientific advances in the field of mesothelioma, with the goal of eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of the disease. The award was presented to Dr. Carbone during the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in Alexandria, VA, where he delivered the keynote address.

The UH Cancer Center is one of 68 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

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News Highlights

May 5, 2014


New test could mean earlier detection of one of the most prevalent cancers in U.S.

HONOLULU – A researcher at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center developing a new test for bladder cancer has won the fifth annual Weinman Innovator Award for Translational Research, wienman winner Dr. Rosseran honor that carries a $50,000 prize and recognizes leading edge cancer research with the potential to move into pre-clinical or clinical trials.

Dr. Charles Rosser, a UH Cancer Center urologist who holds both MD and MBA degrees, won this year’s award for his work on a new urine-based test that uses 10 biomarkers to detect bladder cancer.  This combined panel of biomarkers has been showing an accuracy rate greater than 85 percent in detecting bladder cancer in early studies. The award reviewers selected Dr. Rosser’s work for its potential to eventually save lives and money, and the award prize money will be used to advance development of the technology.

“This project was deemed to be the most significant translational research project proposed, and if it can be fully implemented it would have profound implications for millions of bladder cancer patients worldwide,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, director of the UH Cancer Center. “The medical community does not yet have an efficient, reliable and cost effective method of detecting early stage bladder cancer.”

Being able to accurately detect bladder cancer is important because bladder cancer has a high rate of recurrence. Up to 70 percent of patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer are affected, making it one of the most prevalent cancers in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimates nearly 74,700 new cases in the U.S. will be diagnosed in 2014, and nearly 15,600 people will die from it. More than a half million people in the U.S. are bladder cancer survivors.

The Weinman Innovator Award was established in 2010 and is funded through the endowed Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation, provided by Virginia and Barry Weinman of Honolulu. The award was announced today during this year’s Weinman Symposium at the UH Cancer Center. The symposium brings together Nobel laureates and other top scientists to discuss scientific research and its impact on people with cancer.

The UH Cancer Center is one of 68 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute.  Affiliated with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

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News Highlights

June 26, 2014

Memorial Dedicated to Cancer Center's Architect

Architect Jeff Nakamura of Shimokawa + Nakamura designed the University of Hawaii Cancer Center before he died of cancer in June 2013. Colleagues and family members created a memorial in his name, and at the dedication his son Kenton(in picture standing next to the memorial) told assembled guests his father considered every day a chance to learn something new, to help someone else, and to reach a new height. "There is no such thing as an ordinary moment," he said.

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News Highlights

June 30, 2014

Dr. Mitsuru Emi, researcher and drummer

A respected surgeon and professor medicine in Japan, Dr. Mitsuru Emi comes to Hawaii once a month to conduct cancer research on malignant mesothelioma at the UH Cancer Center. In an interview on KZOO Japanese language radio, Dr. Emi said Hawaii can be an important bridge between Asia and the U.S. in the fight against cancer. He also discussed his interest in hula and Tahitian drumming, and gave a short demo with his drumming group in the KZOO studio, which is located at the front of the Shirokiya department store in Ala Moana.