UH Cancer Center one of 10 recipients of Valvano Foundation grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Bryan Cheplic, (808) 564-5911
Public Information Officer, UH Cancer Center
Lori Strelow, (808) 356-5753
Director of Communications, UH Cancer Center
Posted: Aug 30, 2012

The Jimmy Valvano Foundation for Cancer Research has awarded the University of Hawaii Cancer Center a $600,000 grant to support research on the early diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. The Center is one of only 10 recipients of the 2012 Translational Grants selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.
The grant will be applied to the research efforts of Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, along with co-investigators, Haining Yang, PhD, and Ian Pagano, PhD, for their proposal, “HGMB1: A Biomarker for Mineral Exposure and Detection of Malignant Mesothelioma.”
“We are tremendously grateful to be the recipients of such a highly competitive and prestigious grant,” said Carbone. “It is the critical support needed in our efforts to better diagnose mesothelioma at an early stage and develop new therapies to prevent and treat this cancer.”
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that line the chest and abdominal cavities and has most commonly been linked to asbestos exposure. It results in one of the most aggressive types of tumors, with the current median survival from diagnosis being just twelve months. However, five percent of patients diagnosed at an early stage have survival rates of five to ten years or more. The identification of this new biomarker for early detection will help shed light on developing novel targets for mesothelioma prevention and therapy.

The V Foundation Translational Research Grant program is designed to accelerate and expedite laboratory findings for direct application to patients. The grant approval process is supervised by the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of notable physicians and research scientists from various universities and cancer centers. This process ensures all proposals meet the highest standards of scientific merit, and the projects best dedicated to curing cancer are consistently selected. 

“Our Scientific Advisory Board selected the 10 translational projects most likely to benefit cancer patients from more than 60 promising proposals,” said Robert C. Bast, Jr., MD, Vice President for Translational Research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board. “These grants are awarded to investigators at centers across the country that are preventing, detecting and treating cancers at several different sites.”