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20BY25 One Step Closer

What is 20BY25?

Overall Goal – Ensure that the people of Hawai‘i receive the highest quality of cancer care

Clinical Trials Facts

  1. Clinical trials provide the highest level of quality of care for patients with cancer1
  2. The mortality rate from cancer is falling, in large part due to cancer research that has, through clinical trials, led to new and better methods of cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
  3. Children with cancer are enrolled onto clinical trials at a rate of 70-75% across the US.  A clinical trial is the standard of care.
  4. Only 2-3% of adults with cancer in the US enroll onto clinical trials.

Why do clinical trials provide the highest quality of care for cancer patients?

  1. Closer supervision and monitoring than standard care
  2. Patients always receive equal to or better than the standard of care
  3. Access to novel drugs, or new drug combinations, that may improve the response to treatment, increase the chance of cure, and prolong survival

Today’s “standard” treatment was a
clinical trial 5-10 years ago

Today’s clinical trial will be
standard care 5-10 years from now

Initiative focused on:

    • Community education about cancer clinical trials
    • Engagement and training of oncology providers
    • Encouraging enrollment to cancer clinical trials

Long Term Goal

20% of all Hawaii cancer cases each year enrolled to cancer clinical trials by 2025.

    • There are ~6500 new cancer cases each year in Hawaii
    • The goal is to enroll 1300 patients per year onto a cancer clinical trial
    • At least 1/2 of these enrollments should be to treatment-based trials.  Others may be to cancer prevention, supportive care, diagnostic and cancer healthcare delivery trials.

Hawaii will be the ONLY state in the US to achieve this high proportion of enrollment to clinical trials statewide.

The University of Hawaii Cancer Center, which already provides a clinical trial infrastructure for over 2/3 of cancer patients in the State, is uniquely positioned to lead this initiative.

Key Activities of the Initiative:

  • Educate the public about the value of cancer clinical trials
  • Establish a training and certification program for providers (physicians, nurses), clinical research staff and lay advocates/educators
  • Augment the clinical trials infrastructure to facilitate community-based clinical trials participation and enrollment on Oahu
  • Establish partners on neighbor islands to extend access to clinical trials
  • Coordinate cancer clinical trials across various healthcare systems in Hawai‘i




Corporate, Healthcare and Foundation Sponsorships

Individual Sponsorships

1National Comprehensive Cancer Network; American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute


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To support 20BY25, please contact:

Todd Cullison

Associate Director of Development,
UH Cancer Center

701 Ilalo Street, 3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 356-5757
(808) 586-3052

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More Information:

American Cancer Society Clinical Trials

National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical Trials National Website

UH Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office

What are Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Every cancer-fighting drug and therapy available to doctors today had to be tested in a clinical trial before it could be used routinely on patients.

University of Hawai'i Cancer Center is geared for precision. Clinical studies are designed to enhance & compliment ongoing advancements in the understanding of cancer. These efforts drive what is commonly referred to as personalized medicine. Increasingly sophisticated treatments use this information to target specific oncology targets or biomarkers. Traditionally, clinical research programs relied on a more generalized approach. Treatments were trialed for specific therapeutic areas. The potential of increasingly-targeted, precision medicine is moving beyond that approach by using a person's own biological make-up to grant access to cutting edge research, while also minimizing patient exposure to trials that do not match their biology.

Partnering for a Cure
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing experience. But thanks to advances in biomedical research, cancer patients today have more reasons to hope for a positive outcome than ever before. Doctors have an arsenal of drugs, chemotherapies, radiation therapies and other treatments that can either cure or delay for many years the progression of most types of cancer.

Unfortunately, these therapies are not perfect and thus do not work for everyone. Cancer is still the second-leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 560,000 Americans every year. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Research scientists at University of Hawai'i Cancer Center are working hard every day to find new, more effective drugs and therapies to fight cancer. But they cannot do it alone. To succeed, researchers need more people willing to volunteer for a clinical trial to determine how well these potential cancer treatments work. Today, there's a nationwide shortage of research volunteers and it is slowing progress in the fight against cancer. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what it's like to be part of a clinical trial. Volunteering does not make you a guinea pig; it makes you a partner in the discovery process. If you have cancer, it's a way to make an important contribution to the future of medicine that only you can make.

Smiley face
"I'm able to chase and accomplish all my dreams I had for myself because of the successful clinical trial."
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center Clinical Trial Participant
Mari, Leukemia

Contact Information

Clinical Trials Office
701 Ilalo Street, 3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-2979
(808) 586-2984

Seminar Series

2017 Seminar Speakers

View by year:
2017 |2016 |2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Hua Zhao, PhD

  • Date: July 17, 2017
  • Title: Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer and Obesity in the Mexican American Mano A Mano Cohort"
  • UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Melissa A. Merritt, PhD

  • Date: July 11, 2017
  • Title: Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Epidemiology: New Insights in Survivorship Research
  • UH Cancer Center
Susan M. Schembre, PhD, RD

  • Date: June 19, 2017
  • Title: Next-gen mHealth: Integrating Body Sensors With Smart Technology to Motivate Health Behavior Change
  • UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Sora Park Tanjasiri, DrPH, MPH

  • Date: June 13, 2017
  • Title: Creating a Cancer Disparities Network for Pacific Islanders: Lessons Learned and Future Directions
  • California State University, Fullerton
John A Shepherd, PhD, CCD

  • Date: May 10, 2017
  • Title: Pushing the radiomic limits of mammography for breast cancer risk, lesion typing, and masking
  • UCSF School of Medicine
John B. Cologne, Ph.D.

  • Date: May 9, 2017
  • Title: Complete Causal Modeling of Observational Data on Liver Cancer
  • Department of Statistics Hiroshima, Japan
Wendy Cozen, D.O., M.P.H.

  • Date: April 17, 2017
  • Title: From Cis to Trans: Molecular Epidemiology in the Precision Medicine Era
  • University of Southern California
Deborah Boggs Bookwalter, Sc.D., PhD

  • Date: April 10, 2017
  • Title: Breast Cancer Risk Prediction for African American Woman
  • Naval Health Research Center
Ming-Yu Ngai, PhD

  • Date: January 17, 2017
  • Title: Development of Novel Chemical Tools for Accessing Unexplored Chemical Spaces
  • Stony Brook University

Types and Phases of Trials

Types of Trials:

Prevention trials test new approaches such as medications, vitamins, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of developing a certain type of cancer. Most prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer. Some trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and want to prevent recurrence (return of cancer) or who want to reduce the chance of developing a new type of cancer.

Screening trials study ways to detect cancer earlier. They are often conducted to determine whether finding cancer before it causes symptoms decreases the chance of dying from the disease. These trials involve people who do not have any symptoms of cancer.

Diagnostic trials study tests or procedures that could be used to identify cancer more accurately. Diagnostic trials usually include people who have signs or symptoms of cancer.

Treatment trials are conducted with people who have cancer. They are designed to answer specific questions about, and evaluate the effectiveness of, a new treatment or a new way of using a standard treatment. These trials test many types of treatments such as new drugs, vaccines, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, or new combinations of treatments.

Quality-of-life (also called supportive care) trials explore ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of cancer patients and cancer survivors. These trials may study ways to help people who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, sleep disorders, depression, or other effects from cancer or its treatment.

Genetics studies are sometimes part of another cancer clinical trial. The genetics component of the trial may focus on how genetic makeup can affect detection, diagnosis, or response to cancer treatment.

Population- and family-based genetic research studies differ from traditional cancer clinical trials. In these studies, researchers look at tissue or blood samples, generally from families or large groups of people, to find genetic changes that are associated with cancer. People who participate in genetics studies may or may not have cancer, depending on the study. The goal of these studies is to help understand the role of genes in cancer's development.

Phases of Trials:

Phase I clinical trials are first-time tests of drugs or treatments on human patients. Though the drug or treatment has not yet been tested on people, researchers have reason to believe it will be beneficial. At this stage, researchers do not know the drug's effectiveness, the best dose to administer, or what side effects may occur. A suggested starting dose for humans is found through laboratory experiments. All patients involved in Phase I clinical trials receive a form of treatment for their cancer; none are administered placebos (medically inactive agents sometimes used in medical research for comparison purposes.)

Phase II clinical trials begin once an appropriate dosage of the drug is defined through Phase I trials. In this stage of testing, researchers will determine the drug's effectiveness in treating a specific kind and stage of cancer. As in Phase I clinical trials, all patients involved in Phase II clinical trials receive active treatment; none are administered placebos.

Phase III clinical trials test therapies that have proven to be effective in the first two stages of testing. Phase III clinical trials put the new (investigational) therapy in perspective. For example, a phase III trial may compare the current standard therapy against the new investigational therapy. Or, it may compare patients given the investigational therapy and standard therapy with those who are administered only the standard therapy. Patients participating in Phase III trials are randomly assigned to one of the treatments in the study. This means a patient is selected by chance to be in one treatment group or another. This randomization is essential to allow investigators to determine which therapy is truly more effective. While Phase I and Phase II trials may involve a few dozen patients, Phase III trials can include hundreds of patients.

Phase IV trials are conducted to further evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of a treatment. They usually take place after the treatment has been approved for standard use. Several hundred to several thousand people may take part in a phase IV study. These studies are less common than phase I, II, or III trials.