Cancer Research Center of Hawaii receives NCI grant for partnership program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 2, 2009

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Cancer Research Center of Hawai‘i (CRCH) and the University of Guam (UOG) have received a $12.6 million combined grant award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support their cancer research partnership program. Of this amount, CRCH will receive more than $4.6 million, while the UOG will receive almost $8 million. “This award will allow us to conduct regionally important research projects, and to address cancer health disparities in Guam and other parts of Micronesia.” said Dr. Carl-Wilhelm Vogel, Principal Investigator and former CRCH Director.
This award is part of a NCI program aimed to support partnerships of NCI-designated cancer centers with minority-serving institutions in geographic regions, where there is a recognized need for improvement in cancer prevention, education, research, and care. as well as access to care. Initiated by Dr. Vogel, the CRCH and the UOG were able to establish such a partnership over the past six years that has evolved and grown successfully since its inception.
As the only partnership addressing cancer health disparities in Pacific Islanders, the CRCH/UOG partnership is characterized by a significant number of unique aspects and opportunities. Both Hawai‘i and Guam have two distinct multi-ethnic populations that are very different from any other part of the U.S. In particular, more than one-third of the population of Guam is represented by Chamorros/part-Chamorros as well as a sizable community of other Micronesians. The unique ethnic characteristics of this CRCH/UOG partnership are paralleled by its unique geographic characteristics (the geographic region covered by Hawai‘i, Guam, and the other U.S.-associated Pacific territories is larger than the U.S. mainland), as well as distinctive regional opportunities for research, education, and outreach.
As a result of this partnership, the Cancer Research Center of Guam has been established on the campus of UOG, the Guam Cancer Registry was established, an increasing number of faculty and students are engaged in cancer research at UOG, and an increasing number of faculty from CRCH are addressing issues of particular relevance for cancer health disparities in the Hawai‘i/Pacific region.
The newly awarded partnership grant is intended to build on the remarkable achievements of the past six years, and to help sustain the unique partnership between UOG and CRCH with multi-purposed aims. These include: 1) increasing the cancer research activities and the number of faculty engaged in cancer research at UOG, 2) increasing the number of minority scientists of Pacific Islander ancestry engaged in cancer research, while providing pertinent undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate education and training opportunities for Pacific Islander students, 3) further strengthening the research focus at CRCH on cancer health disparities with emphasis on aspects of particular relevance for the people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific, and 4) enhancing the awareness of cancer and cancer prevention and, ultimately, reducing the impact of cancer on the people of Guam, the other U.S.-associated Pacific Island territories, and Hawai‘i.