How research at UH Cancer Center leads to new treatment advances

Sponsored by UH Cancer Center

Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, and it’s a very personal topic for those affected. That’s why the experts at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center are committed to accelerating cures through research.

Scientists and physicians at the UH Cancer Center focus on key cancers that impact the people of Hawaii. There are more than 100 types of cancer and each has its own specific challenges. For example, Hawaii has the second highest rate of liver cancer in the country, and many groups are working to both understand it and develop new diagnostics and therapies against it. Just as important, the cancer center’s work contributes to a global body of knowledge that leads to the development of new life-saving treatments and therapies.

The UH Cancer Center also has a strong program focused on bladder cancer and researches the underlying events leading to its formation and early detection. Researchers developed biomarkers for clinical diagnosis of bladder cancer which has performed better than current diagnostic tools. The new treatment is currently in clinical trial.

Hawaii is rich in natural resources unique to the environment. Researchers in chemistry and cancer biology at the UH Cancer Center collaborate to tap into those natural compounds and synthesize new compounds as new anticancer treatments. Examples include natural compounds in the Ironweed plant that block breast and brain cancer development in the lab. This treatment is currently being developed for prevention and potential therapeutic use.

The UH Cancer Center is one of only 70 research organizations in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute. This affiliation requires stringent and constant evaluation, yet brings the distinction of being recognized among the best cancer research institutions in the world.

Experts say they are at a pivotal point in cancer research with more sophisticated experimental approaches. Dr. Joe Ramos, deputy director at the UH Cancer Center, says experts are at a point where they can sequence a person’s genome and know what is being mutated and what is affecting a cancer’s progression.

For more information:, @UHCancerCenter