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News Highlights

June 7, 2016

UH CANCER CENTER RESEARCHERS RECEIVE MORE THAN $5.5 MILLION R01 NCI-GRANTS

HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers received more than $5.5 million R01 NCI-grants spanning several years for research that includes e-cigarettes and bladder cancer. The grants will help reach the goal of reducing the burden of cancer in Hawai'i and across the nation through research and improved patient care.

"R01 grants are extremely competitive, receiving these grants are great accomplishments. The research will help us continue to generate Hawai'i specific cancer findings to residents in the state," said Dr. Jerris Hedges, dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and interim director of the UH Cancer Center.

The UH Cancer Center along with only 68 other NCI-designated cancer centers compete successfully every year for 75 to 85% of the NCI's $4.8 billion extramural funds. Cancer Center affiliated investigators secure an average of $20 million of national grants annually to support cancer research in Hawai'i.

Pallav Pokhrel, E-cigarette Marketing Research
Pallav Pokhrel, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program received a five-year $2.5 million R01 NCI-grant to study the impact of e-cigarette marketing on the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of young adults (18-29 year olds) in Hawai'i. The knowledge gained from this study will scientifically inform tobacco control policies and tobacco use prevention and treatment efforts in Hawai'i and across the U.S.

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"This will be the first large research project to study the use of different tobacco products among Hawai'i young adults. Like the rest of the U.S., young adults in Hawai'i are at higher risk for tobacco product misuse when compared with other age groups," said Pokhrel.

Young adults appear to be the main targets of e-cigarette marketing campaigns according to Pokhrel. They also show the most widespread use of e-cigarettes in the U.S., as e-cigarettes face limited regulations.

This study will collect surveys and other types of data from more than 2,000 college students in Hawai'i, including current cigarette smokers, non-smokers, and former smokers every six months over approximately two years.

Dr. Charles Rosser, Bladder Cancer Research
Dr. Charles Rosser, professor and director of the Clinical Trials Office and director of the Clinical and Translational Research Program received a five-year more than $3 million R01 NCI-grant to research a urine based bladder cancer detection test that could determine those at risk for the disease. The test could help determine those who may require more invasive evaluation and tests, and reduce the need for other large number of patients who would not have to do uncomfortable and expensive examinations. The test is expected to be more reliable and accurate than other tests in patients who have a history of bladder cancer, who are on lifetime tumor surveillance, as well as in patients with obvious blood in their urine.

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The grant for the study, "Multiplexed Protein Biomarker-Based Assay for the Detection of Bladder Cancer," will provide funding to perform a clinical trial to determine the accuracy of the test. Funds will be used to perform the trial in Hawai'i and UT Southwestern in Dallas. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center will help collect and analyze data.

Bladder cancer is a major problem in Hawai'i, approximately 200 residents are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01CA202277, R01CA198887. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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. This is equivalent to supporting 776 jobs. It is one of only 69 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care.
Learn more at www.uhcancercenter.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UHCancerCenter. Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

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News Highlights

May 31, 2016

In Memory of Jimmy Borges, Award-Winning Hawai'i Singer and Actor

It is with sadness that we note the reported death of award-winning Hawaiʻi singer and actor, Jimmy Borges. The faculty and staff of the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center are saddened at his death. Borges fought cancer bravely for many years. His initial illness, liver cancer, went into remission, but later the disease resurfaced in his lungs. Just a year ago, at the UH Cancer Center's Global Liver Cancer Conference, Borges shared his personal story about living with liver cancer, and emphasized the importance of cancer research.

The thoughts of us at the UH Cancer Center are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Our video is from May 2015. Aloha, Jimmy!

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News Highlights

June 3, 2016

$20 Million Potential Donation to UH Cancer Center

The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center may potentially receive $20 million from the Friends of the UH Cancer Center board member Virginia Weinman and her husband, Barry Weinman.

"But only on the condition that the (National Cancer Institute) designation is not in jeopardy, which it will be if we don't have a new director appointed immediately," said Weinman to the regents in public testimony.

At the meeting on June 2, the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents approved Dr. Randall F. Holcombe as UH Cancer Center director. A formal offer was made to Holcombe.

Generous and forward thinking philanthropists, Barry & Virginia Weinman, provide funds to the Cancer Center for several purposes, all directed towards advancing innovations in cancer research. They created an endowment to bring to Hawai'i some of the best cancer researchers to work collaboratively in our research laboratories with our scientists. Their funds also support the Weinman Symposium, which is held once a year, and a weekly/bi-weekly lecture series whereby prominent researchers deliver a major lecture at the UH Cancer Center.

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News Highlights

May 5, 2016

GOVERNOR IGE SHOWS UH CANCER CENTER SUPPORT

Governor David Ige firmly showed his support for the importance of the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center's National Cancer Institute designation while grading this legislative session.

"I am committed to ensuring the [National] Cancer Institute designation. It's important to our community. Our community deserves the best cancer care we can provide," said Ige.

In a Star Advertiser poll on Monday, May 2, 53 percent of the voters with 8 percent undecided believed the Cancer Center needed the $4 million budget support from the Legislature.

"We greatly appreciate Governor Ige's vocal support recently and during this legislative session. We will continue to advocate for the Cancer Center into the 2017 legislative session. We have made significant progress and are committed to fight for the improvement of health of those in Hawai'i and the Pacific region through research and education," said Dr. Jerris Hedges, dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and interim director of the UH Cancer Center.

More than 6,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Hawai'i, and another 2,000 will die from the disease, making it the second leading cause of death in the state.

The UH Cancer Center along with only 68 other NCI-designated cancer centers compete successfully every year for 75 to 85% of the NCI's $4.8 billion extramural funds. Cancer Center affiliated investigators secure an average of $20 million of national grants annually to support cancer research in Hawai'i.

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. This is equivalent to supporting 776 jobs. It is one of only 69 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 www.uhcancercenter.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UHCancerCenter. Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

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