Science Market Update

Univ of Hawaii Cancer Center Receives $600K Research Grant to Study Mesothelioma

Posted by BCI Staff on Wed, Sep 26, 2012

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(Courtesy of

Every week we see commericals on television asking if we have Mesothelioma. By the number of commercials alone you would be right in thinking Mesothelioma is a serious problem. That's why it's particularly important that a major cancer research institution, the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, recently received a $600,000 grant from the Jimmy Valvano Foundation for Cancer Research. The grant was awarded to the research lab of pathologist Michele Carbone to study HGMB1: A Biomarker for Mineral Exposure and Detection of Malignant Mesothelioma. According to Dr. Carbone:

“We are tremendously grateful to be the recipients of such a highly competitive and prestigious grant. 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 one of the deadliest types of cancer, with many patients not surviving a year after diagnosis. The most common cause of mesothelioma is high asbestos exposure. Asbestos can be found in many different kinds of older heat resistant products including: roof singles, floor tiles, transmission parts, heat resistant fabrics, and coatings. In fact asbestos is routinely found in the construction material of older homes.

Each year the number of people diagnosed with Mesothelioma increases. According to WHO, the mesothelioma rates have doubled between 1994 and 2008.  What make this cancer particularly dangerous is that people routinely go undiagnosed until it is too late. According to, mesothelioma has a long incubation period between exposure and cancer development, often 20-40 years. Fortunately, malignant mesothelioma survival rates can, with early detection, jump to 5-10 years and sometimes longer.

The research team is lead by Michele Carbone, MD PhD, who is a

laboratory scientist

Michele Carbone

(Courtesy of Carbone

professor of pathology at the University of Hawaii, and the Cancer Center director at the University. In 2011 he was the on the board of directors for the American Cancer Society, and he is a previous winner of the NIH Health Fogarty award. The UH Cancer Center has positioned itself as one of the leading centers for research and treatment for Mesothelioma.  This NCI-designated center has has four research departments: cancer biology, cancer epidiomology, prevention and control, and clinical and translational research. Dr Carbone’s co-researchers on this project are:

Haining Yang, PhD- cancer biologist in the the cancer biology department
Ian Pagano, PhD -is a Quantitative Psychology in the Epidemiology Program


For more information about the new cancer center facility opening soon next to the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) in Hawaii, read our earlier UH blogs here.



univ hawaii research

[Lab researcher at UH, courtesy of University of Hawai‘i photostream]


Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. hosted its first annual Hawaii BioResearch Product Front Line Event™ on the JABSOM campus of the University of Hawaii, Manoa, last January. We look forward to returning to this spectacular venue again on January 10, 2013 to bring together Hawaiian life science researchers and laboratory equipment professionals to discuss the latest developments in lab technologies. With the new Cancer Center due to open soon thereafter, this could be the ideal time to pin down orders to outfit these new labs, as well as to make valuable client connections generally in this up and coming market. For information on exhibiting, click here:

bioresearch Hawaii



If you cannot attend the University of Hawaii Show, these early 2013 BCI shows on the mainland may be of interest to you:

In fact, check out our newly-leased complete 2013 Show Schedule.

Tags: biomedical research, University of Hawaii, cancer research, 2012, Hawaii, Front Line event, Honolulu, HI, Biomedical Research Funding

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