Maui News

UH Cancer Center Receives $125,000 Donation for Early Phase Clinical Trials

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

UH Cancer Center Director Randall Holcombe, FICOH President and CEO Jeff Shonka and Lynne Wooddell, UH Foundation Director of Development for UH Cancer Center, celebrate the $125,000 donation. Photo Credit: UH Cancer Center

The First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi’s Charitable Foundation donated $125,000 to the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center’s new Early Phase Clinical Research Center, which provides access to phase 1 clinical trials for specialized treatments for cancer patients in Hawaiʻi.

“As a Hawai‘i company and employer, we feel it is imperative for us to invest in research that will have tangible benefits for our community,” said foundation President and CEO Jeff Shonka. “So many people in Hawai‘i are personally impacted by cancer each year. This is our way of helping to find new lifesaving treatments and therapies for our families, neighbors and friends.”

UH Cancer Center director Randall Holcombe said: “Phase 1 clinical trials represent the cutting edge of cancer treatments and are often considered when patients have a particularly challenging form of cancer or when standard treatments have been unsuccessful. In a state where approximately 7,100 people are diagnosed each year with cancer, the stakes are high, and we are so grateful to FICOH for their commitment to our center and the state.”

A clinical trial is a research study testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Every cancer-fighting drug and therapy available to doctors today were tested in a clinical trial before it could be used routinely on patients. However, because the environments, ethnicities and cultures of Hawai‘i and the Pacific are unique, so are the needs of cancer patients in this region.

The Early Phase Clinical Research Center will complement drug discovery programs already in place within the Cancer Center focused on identifying unique-to-Hawai‘i compounds derived from natural products with anti-cancer activity. It represents an opportunity to translate basic laboratory discoveries into novel treatments for patients.

“The Early Phase Clinical Research Center will radically expand the clinical trials options for the people of Hawai‘i and improve our community’s quality of life as cancer patients and their families will have access to the care they need,” said UH Foundation President and CEO Tim Dolan. “We are grateful for FICOH’s philanthropic partnership and their support of this vibrant clinical research center.”

To learn more about the cancer research and clinical trials taking place at the UH Cancer Center, and how you can support these efforts, contact UH Cancer Center Director of Development Lynne Wooddell at [email protected] or (808) 356-5757.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments