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University of Hawaii Cancer Center

News Release

May 14, 2018

UH Cancer Center's Hawai`i Tumor Registry awarded $1.8M

The University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center’s Hawai‘i Tumor Registry was awarded $1.8 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to continue to participate in the NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. The Hawai‘i Tumor Registry has provided incidence and survival data on all cases of cancer in Hawai‘i since 1973. The award includes a potential of additional nine years of funding for a total award of more than $21 million.

“The UH Cancer Center’s Hawai‘i Tumor Registry plays a vital role in cancer research and cancer control activities in Hawai‘i and nationally. The registry is particularly notable for its contribution to addressing the burden of cancer in Asian and Pacific Island ethnic groups that are not well-represented in the U.S.,” said Brenda Hernandez, PhD, MPH, Hawai‘i Tumor Registry principal investigator.

As one of only 16 newly funded NCI-SEER regions nationwide, the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry collects detailed information on the more than 7,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Hawai‘i residents annually, as well as follow-up and survival data. Since its inception as a SEER registry in 1973, the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry's surveillance has covered approximately 200,000 Hawaii cancer cases.

“For nearly 50 years, the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry has provided valuable insight that informs cancer prevention and research efforts, especially in Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. This federal funding will allow the Cancer Center to continue this important work toward developing new treatments, and eventually, a cure,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

“The first step to beating cancer is to understand the disease, and that’s exactly what the Hawai‘i Tumor Registry allows us to do,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “With this funding, our state will have the resources we need to collect data—including information about how cancer affects minorities—to help researchers, doctors, and others fight for a cure.”

UH Cancer Center Hawai‘i Tumor Registry
The Hawai‘i Tumor Registry maintains a confidential database of information on all reportable cases of cancer, benign brain tumors, many blood disorders and other reportable "neoplasms" diagnosed in Hawai‘i, and data are published to inform local prevention and control efforts, as well as national and international research efforts. Founded in 1960, the Registry is jointly operated by the UH Cancer Center and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health.

The Registry's database contains more cancer cases of Native Hawaiians than any other registry nationwide. It also contains sizable numbers of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Pacific Islanders and Whites, including smaller numbers of other ethnic groups. This racially-diverse and unique population resource has been invaluable in demonstrating ethnic variations in cancer incidence and survival. The database information is used by cancer control partners, hospitals, researchers, physicians and many others.

Since 1973, the Registry has been a coveted and founding member of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER), the nation's cancer surveillance and reporting system and it receives its primary financial support from the National Institute's of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI). HTR is also recognized as a high-quality central cancer registry, receiving GOLD standard awards from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) on an annual basis.

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN261201800011I

View HTR cancer booklet

View Cancer at a Glance brochure

Graphical image showing the average annual number of newly diagnosed cancer cases by county (Kauai county: 336 or 5%; Honolulu County: 4,719 or 70%; Maui County, includes Maui, Molokai, Lanai: 744 or 11%; Hawaii County: 905 or 14%), 2009-2013

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. 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, patient care and community outreach with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural, and environmental characteristics of Hawai'i and the Pacific.
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