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March 15, 2017

UH CANCER CENTER PHYSICIAN RECEIVES NATIONAL EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE AWARD

HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i Cancer Center professor and physician, Dr. Jeffrey Berenberg, was recognized recently by one of the largest physician organizations in the nation for his decades of service and advocacy in the state. He was awarded Mastership by the American College of Physicians (MACP), its highest level of recognition.

Berenberg is only the fifth physician from Hawai'i to receive the honor; the first MACP was awarded in 1923.

"Dr. Berenberg is uniquely deserving of selection for Mastership in the American College of Physicians. He is the doctor's doctor. He has devoted himself to a life of service to his patients and his colleagues," said Dr. MaryAnn Antonelli, Hawai'i Chapter Governor. "He promotes excellence in Internal Medicine in Hawai'i. Even after 47 years of practice, Dr. Berenberg continues to be a role model for the next generation."

Berenberg has practiced medicine in Hawai'i since 1983. He served as Chief of Hematology & Oncology at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) from 1979 through 2010, and is currently a full time physician at TAMC.

The award goes to a physician with a long history of excellence in serving the community. Masters are selected because of integrity, position of honor, eminence in practice and other achievements in the science and art of medicine. The physician must be a respected practitioner of internal medicine care and a contributor to medical education.

"Dr. Berenberg is a superb physician and tireless advocate for his patients. His contributions to the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, especially in the area of clinical trials for patients with cancer, have been and continue to be exemplary," said Dr. Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.

Berenberg began working on cancer clinical trials and data management at the Cancer Center more than 35 years ago. He has extensive experience both at the local and national levels in the conduct of clinical trials, especially in breast and colorectal cancer. He is the co-principal investigator on the $3.8 million NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) grant in Hawai'i, which is part of a national effort to increase access to federal government cancer research for minority, rural, and underserved patient populations, and a main focus of the Cancer Center. Since publishing his first paper in 1972, he has gone on to author more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.

"I feel privileged and honored to receive this award that recognizes both academic achievement as well as my care for cancer patients," said Berenberg.

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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News Highlights

I am honored to be Director of an exceptional Cancer Center at the University of Hawai'i. The UH Cancer Center was established in 1971 and designated formally as an Organized Research Unit within the University in 1981. It relocated to a new building on the Kaka'ako campus in 2013. While primarily a research unit, the Cancer Center also maintains a strong clinical focus, providing access to clinical trials in cooperation with members of the Hawai'i Cancer Consortium that was established in 2010. NCI designation was obtained in 1996 and has been maintained continually since that time.

The mission of the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center 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. The Center conducts research that is specifically relevant to the cancer problems affecting the people of Hawai'i, working to understand the influence of ethnic diversity on both the incidence of cancer and on patient outcomes, to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of cancer, to engage the community in cancer prevention and cancer education programs and to provide an infrastructure for access to cutting edge clinical trials for patients affected by this disease.

The UH Cancer Center is intimately involved in the community. In addition to providing oversight of a cancer clinical trials infrastructure for nearly 2/3 of cancer patients in the state, working through an affiliation of hospitals and private practices, the Center is involved in community education, legislative initiatives and community outreach focused on cancer prevention and control. The UH Cancer Center faculty are also deeply involved in educational activity – over 250 trainees have been mentored by Cancer Center faculty between 2011 and 2016 and approximately 30 of the 45 full time Cancer Center faculty regularly participate in research training and teaching activities at the University of Hawai'i.

The UH Cancer Center has three research programs – Cancer Epidemiology, Cancer Prevention in the Pacific and Cancer Biology and supports Translational and Clinical Research as well as seven Shared Resources. The Cancer Epidemiology program, with investigators who are international leaders in the study of ethnic diversity and cancer, directs numerous "big science" research programs with institutional collaborations across the US. The Cancer Prevention in the Pacific program has a major focus on E-cigarette research as well as cancer prevention behavioral and educational initiatives in Hawai'i and across the Pacific, with major research affiliations with the University of Guam and in American Sāmoa. The Cancer Biology program includes cell signaling research, international leaders in the study of mesothelioma and incorporates a drug development program focused on identification of natural products with anti-cancer activity.

The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center is a collaborative, community focused and scientifically exceptional cancer research center that is unique among all of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the US. It is a resource committed to the people of Hawai'i and is, truly, a "Gem in the Pacific".

Randall F. Holcombe, MD MBA

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News Highlights

February 17, 2017

2017 EAC

External Advisory Committee Makes Annual Visit

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center's External Advisory Committee (EAC) made its annual visit on February 13 and 14. Every cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute has an External Advisory Committee that visits each year to assess the center's progress on strategic plans and activities.

The EAC is composed of researchers and administrators from cancer centers across the nation. They met with UH Cancer Center leadership, as well as Hawai'i legislative leaders, during their visit.

The committee members emphasized to UH leadership and legislative leaders about the critical need for ongoing institutional and legislative support for the Center. With support, the committee noted that the Cancer Center had an "excellent chance" at retaining NCI designation with submission of the Center's next Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) renewal application in September.

"I'm really excited about what we are seeing and the direction you are headed. There's a lot of work ahead, but I think the UH Cancer Center is on the right track towards renewing your status as an NCI-designated cancer center, and more importantly, expanding your ability to reduce the burden of cancer for the people of Hawai'i," said Dr. George Weiner, committee chair.

The members highlighted the value of the Center's cancer research on various ethnicities and races in Hawai'i, which benefits not only the local communities, but of those on the mainland. They also underscored the importance of having an NCI-designated center in Hawai'i, and the Center's ability to provide access to cutting-edge prevention and treatment clinical trials.

"We had a very successful visit from the External Advisory Committee. They were more impressed than ever about the unique research ongoing in our Center. They also had some interesting ideas about our program structure and how to translate our research to patients, through prevention studies and early phase clinical trials," said Dr. Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.

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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News Highlights

January 27, 2017

2013 NOBEL PRIZE WINNER SPEAKS AT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I CANCER CENTER SYMPOSIUM

Randy W. Schekman shares recent research at 8TH Annual Weinman Symposium

The 8th Annual Weinman Symposium covered some of the latest cancer research findings, specifically how genes interact with the environment. The event included sessions on gene-environment interaction in lung cancer, how the environment affects T cells in cancer, and gene-environment interactions in studies of indoor air pollution and lung cancer in eastern Asia. Top-scientists from across the nation presented, and looked at opportunities for future research collaborations.

"I am grateful to Mrs. and Mr. Weinman who entrusted me with their donation to bring to Hawai'i some of the best scientists of the world. It is a unique opportunity for us Faculty, post docs and students, to discuss science and make joint projects with them to find new ways to prevent and cure cancer. I am also very grateful to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer who co-sponsored the meeting," said Dr. Michele Carbone, UH Cancer Center's director of Thoracic Oncology.

Dr. Randy W. Schekman, the 2013 Nobel Prize Winner for Physiology or Medicine, was awarded the 8th Weinman Award presented by Sen. Josh Green, chair of the Committee on Human Services. The event included a Q & A session allowing graduate and post-doctoral students an opportunity to ask Schekman questions on how to conduct research.

Schekman won the Nobel Prize with James Rothman and Thomas C. Südhof, "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells".

"Some of the most prominent scientists in the broad field of cancer research spoke at the event. It was a great experience to hear them, and an inspiration to those who attended," said Dr. Bruce Beutler, 2011 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine.

"It is an honor to have Nobel Laureates and world-renowned researchers sharing their discoveries and looking at ways to collaborate with us here in Hawai'i," said Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director. "We are thankful for the Weinman Foundation for this great opportunity to advance innovative cancer research," said Dr. Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.

To see photos from the symposium.

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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