Hawaii cancer patients in rural areas, including many minorities, will benefit from an $8 million federal grant that will increase clinical cancer trials at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center over the next six years.

Nationwide, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asians represent a small fraction of patients enrolled in clinical cancer trials, according to UH Cancer Center faculty Jared Acoba.

Yet these minorities and other rural residents make up at least 30% of the UH Cancer Center’s patient population, which helped qualify the center for the grant money awarded by The National Cancer Institute.

Earlier this year the center expanded its geographic cancer coverage to include patients in Guam.

The program’s clinical trial network includes Hawaii Pacific Health, Queen’s Health System, Kuakini Medical Center, Tripler Army Medical Center and private practice oncology physician offices.

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