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Brian F. Issell, MD

Brian F. Issell, MD
  • Clinical Member
    Translational & Clinical Research
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Clinical Professor
    Clinical Sciences and Translational Research
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center


  • MD
    University of Otago
    Dunedin, New Zealand

Research Focus

Dr. Issell's career has been committed to clinical and translational research to improve the care of cancer patients. He has been a clinical and translational investigator, educator, administrator and practicing medical oncologist for over 30 years. From 1978-1983, he led the preclinical to clinical transition of several notable anticancer drugs in the US including cisplatin, carboplatin and etoposide, while working at Bristol Myers (now Bristol Myers Squibb). From 1983-1988, he led the initial generation of monoclonal antibody products and the preclinical and clinical development of both monoclonal antibody products and cytokines (including IL-2) while working at Cetus Corporation (now Novatis). From 1988-1999, he was Director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. In this role he led the development of new programs in natural products drug discovery, prevention and control and clinical science and the acquisition of first an NCI P20 Cancer Center Planning Grant and then a P30 Cancer Center Support (Core) Grant. From 1999 to 2006, he was Director of the Center's Clinical Sciences/Clinical Trials. He has been PI on multiple clinical research projects (including Phase I studies) funded by R01, R21, U01 and U10 mechanisms. He was Program Director of a K12 award for training clinical investigators and participated in T32 and R25 training awards held by the Cancer Center. From December 2006-December 2010, he was Vice President of Clinical Research/Medical Director of Academic Affairs for Scripps Health and Director of Clinical Research, Scripps Translational Science Institute which was awarded an NIH CTSA under his leadership of the clinical and regulatory components. He led the expansion of clinical research throughout Scripps Health multi-hospital system and took it to a new level of excellence through intra- and inter-institutional collaborations and the training and support of outstanding clinical investigators. In 2011 he returned to the University of Hawaii Cancer Center as Associate Director of Clinical Sciences and Translational Research to help lead its transformation to a new level of clinical investigation.

Selected Publications

  • Lillie, E.; Patay, B.; Diamant, J.; Issell, B.; Topol, E. The n-of -1 clinical trial: the ultimate strategy for individualizing medicine? Personalized Medicine 8: (2) 161-173, 2011.
  • Maskarinec, G.; Pagano, I.; Lurie, G; Bantum, E.; Gotay,C.C.; Issell, B.F.; Factors Affecting Survival among Women with Breast Cancer in Hawaii. Journal of Women's Health, 20: (2) 231-237, 2011.
  • Blanke,C.; Chansky, K.; Christman, K.; Hundahl, S.; Issell, B.; Van Veldhuizen, P.; Budd, G.; Abbruzzese, J.; Macdonald, J.; S9511: A Southwest Oncology Group Phase II Study of Trimetrexate, 5FU, and Leucovorin in Unresectable or Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Stomach; American Journal of Clinical Oncology 33: (2) 111-120, 2010.
  • Issell, B.F.; Gotay, C.C.; Pagano, I; Franke, A.A.; Using Quality of Life Measures in a Phase I Clinical Trial of Noni in Patients with Advanced Cancer to Select a Phase II Dose. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 6: (4) 347-359, 2009.
  • Issell, B.F.; Franke, A.; Fielding, R.M.: Pharmacokinetic Study of Noni Fruit Extract. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 5: (4) 373-382, 2008.

Publication list via PubMed