Expansion of University of Hawaii Cancer Center Ensures Continued NCI Designation

The cancer research center at the University of Hawaii is undergoing a $140 million expansion project that will ensure that it continues as a NCI designated cancer center.

Led by the Center’s Director and noted mesothelioma doctor, Dr. Michele Carbone, the expansion will allow the research center to build new facilities, hire additional researchers and physicians and partner with a local hospital.

“At least by early 2013, Carbone and his staff can finally realize a dream of a full-scale facility that will allow them to leave behind the University of Hawaii-Manoa center’s scattered labs and offices at its rented Lauhala Street building, Gold Bond Building and UH School of Medicine,” according to The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

With a goal of improving cancer research, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) works with over 60 cancer treatment centers in the U.S. Each of these facilities is actively committed to reducing the impact of cancer on the population. Most of the medical institutions that specialize in treatment of mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases are actually cancer centers, or closely affiliated with one.

“It’s a kind of accreditation.” Carbone said about the NCI designation. “There are only 65 in the United States of America. You have to go through a very tough process of peer review. It comes with a grant from the NCI that, of course, is very important. But also it gives you access to resources that only cancer centers have access to.”

Without specialized treatment, the median survival rate for a patient with mesothelioma is roughly nine months, according to experts. Patients are urged to find a doctor at a major cancer center, take part in clinical studies, and seek out an asbestos attorney to pursue from a mesothelioma settlement from an employer or other known source of asbestos exposure to help cover the costs of treatment.