Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity

Since 2003, the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center (UH Cancer Center) and the University of Guam (UOG) have worked in partnership to explore the reasons behind significant cancer health disparities among Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi, Guam and the neighboring U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI). The Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity is one of only 16 Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE), a program of the NCI that supports cancer research capacity building at minority-serving institutions and collaborative research addressing cancer health disparities and their impact on underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged populations. The Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity is the only PACHE grantee serving Pacific Islanders (PI), with an emphasis on Micronesians. The partnership addresses cancer health disparities through research, training, and community outreach.


Our Aims

Our overarching goal is to promote cancer health equity and mitigate the impact of cancer on Pacific Island Populations through increasing cancer research leadership and capacity in Hawaiʻi, Guam and the USAPI. As the only NCI-funded partnership serving the underrepresented Pacific Island region, our specific aims are to:

  1. Continue to develop a diverse portfolio of Pacific Island population-focused cancer research projects that include clinical, basic, and population health sciences;
  2. Collaborate with local and regional Pacific Island community organizations that work with underrepresented Pacific Island populations to promote cancer health equity and enhance opportunities for research training and workforce development;
  3. Sustain, strengthen, and continuously evaluate all of the Partnership’s research, core activities, and research education programs;
  4. Enhance and implement evidence-based, relevant, cancer-related public health interventions and cancer prevention and control strategies with and within underrepresented communities; and
  5. Expand the scientific collaboration among PIPCHE members and other UH and UH Cancer Center faculty, with an emphasis on recruiting Early Stage Investigators of Pacific Island ancestry.


Our Projects

Pilot Project I: Cross Sectional Analysis of Areca Alkaloids in Buccal Cells and Hair from Areca Nut Chewers as Candidate Biomarkers for Short and Long Term Areca Nut Exposure

Full Project I: Adolescent Tobacco and Betel Nut Use Prevention in Guam


Principal Investigators

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Neal Palafox, MD, MPH
UH Cancer Center
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Brenda Hernandez, PhD, MPH
UH Cancer Center
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Rachael Leon Guerrero, PhD
University of Guam
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Margaret Hattori-Uchima , RN, PhD
University of Guam
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Research, research education, and community outreach conducted by PIPCHE is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54CA143727.