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 University of Guam/University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center Partnership is one of only 14 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 UOG/UH Cancer Center Partnership is the only PACHE 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

Betel Nut Intervention Trial - BENIT

Accessible breast cancer screening in the Pacific - iBreastExam


Principal Investigators

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Neal Palafox, MD, MPH
UH Cancer Center
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Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA
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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