CRCH Interim Director to be Honored at Cancer Conference

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sharon Shigemasa, (808) 586-3011
Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Posted: Jan 22, 2009

Michele Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., interim director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi, director of the Cancer Center‘s Thoracic Oncology Program, and Pathology Department chair at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, will be recognized for his achievement as recipient of the 2008 Landon Foundation-AACR Innovator Award for International Collaboration in Cancer Research during a conference to be held Friday, January 23. He will also serve as a featured speaker at the Annual Landon-AACR Prize Lectures at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the award received by Carbone and his team of scientists recognizes that international research collaboration can successfully address the global health problem of cancer through access to unique populations and environments, shared resources, specialized expertise, new concepts, and perspectives, innovative methodologies, and/or emerging technologies. The award provides a two-year, $100,000 grant to support the work of promising cancer researchers.

A cooperative team of experts in genetics, thoracic oncology, geology and pathology, led by Carbone, discovered a unique mesothelioma epidemic in three Turkish villages. They demonstrated that the disease, a form of cancer where malignant cells develop in the protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs, is caused by the interaction between a human gene and a mineral fiber called erionite, found in abundance in the Turkish villages. At the recommendation of Carbone‘s team, the Turkish government reduced the villagers‘ exposure to erionite by relocating them to newly built villages far removed from the mineral fiber in their environment.

The team will use the AACR Innovator grant to further its research in identifying the predisposing gene or genes responsible for mesothelioma among the Turkish villagers and developing interventions to treat and prevent the disease, which may also have implications for mesothelioma in other geographic areas worldwide.

Carbone‘s research team includes Haining Yang, Ph.D., Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi; Nancy Cox, Ph.D., and Ian Steele, Ph.D., University of Chicago; Harvey Pass, M.D., NYU School of Medicine and Clinical Cancer Center; Joseph Testa, Ph.D., Fox Chase Cancer Center; Y. Izzetin Baris, M.D., University of Hacettepe, Ankara, Turkey; A. Umran Dogan, Ph.D., University of Iowa; and Salih Emri, M.D., and Murat Tuncer, M.D., Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey.

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