This application seeks support for the infrastructure of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study, which was established in Hawaii and southern California between 1993 and 1996 to study risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases. The study was designed to take advantage of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the two geographic areas, as well as the expertise of the senior investigators in nutrition, ethnic/racial studies, and, subsequently, genetics. It is the most ethnically heterogeneous cancer cohort in existence. At baseline, the cohort included information on 215,000 men and women, comprised, by design, almost entirely of five ethnic/racial populations: Caucasians, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, African Americans, and Latinos. The resource was later expanded to include a prospective bio repository of blood and urine specimens from ~ 70,000 of the participants. Leadership of the MEC entails a highly interactive, team approach;and the investigators have amply demonstrated their willingness to share data and participate actively in consortium projects. This application describes our aims over the next five years for maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure of the MEC, as well as plans for methodological research in the areas of genetic and nutritional epidemiology that utilize the resources of the cohort. Research accomplishments to date include significant contributions to understanding both genetic and environmental risk factors for cancer, particularly related to breast, prostate, colorectal and lun cancers. Nearly 250 papers describing these findings have been published. In addition, primarily over the last 20 years, more than 50 research grants have been built around the MEC, and more than 50 students and postdoctoral fellows have been trained on the study. This new grant will make possible the continuation of a well-integrated program of research aimed at evaluating environmental factors and genetic variants as risk factors for cancer and other common chronic diseases.

Public Health Relevance

The Multiethnic Cohort Study is a powerful resource for continuing research efforts aimed at greater understanding ofthe environmental causes of cancer and other chronic diseases, and how these risk factors interact with genetic variants to explain some of the ethnic/racial disparities in cancer risks in the U,S. population. It is our hope that this work ultimately will provide useful insights into the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project with Complex Structure Cooperative Agreement (UM1)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Program Officer
Mahabir, Somdat
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Hawaii
Organized Research Units
United States
Zip Code
Setiawan, Veronica Wendy; Hernandez, Brenda Y; Lu, Shelly C et al. (2014) Diabetes and racial/ethnic differences in hepatocellular carcinoma risk: the multiethnic cohort. J Natl Cancer Inst 106:
Feng, Ye; Stram, Daniel O; Rhie, Suhn Kyong et al. (2014) A comprehensive examination of breast cancer risk loci in African American women. Hum Mol Genet 23:5518-26
Leo, Qi Jie Nicholas; Ollberding, Nicholas J; Wilkens, Lynne R et al. (2014) Obesity and non-Hodgkin lymphoma survival in an ethnically diverse population: the Multiethnic Cohort study. Cancer Causes Control 25:1449-59
Fejerman, Laura; Ahmadiyeh, Nasim; Hu, Donglei et al. (2014) Genome-wide association study of breast cancer in Latinas identifies novel protective variants on 6q25. Nat Commun 5:5260
Park, Sungshim Lani; Kotapati, Srikanth; Wilkens, Lynne R et al. (2014) 1,3-Butadiene exposure and metabolism among Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, and White smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23:2240-9
Harmon, Brook E; Little, Melissa A; Woekel, Erica D et al. (2014) Ethnic differences and predictors of colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen, and mammography screening participation in the multiethnic cohort. Cancer Epidemiol 38:162-7
Murphy, Sharon E; Park, Sung-Shim L; Thompson, Elizabeth F et al. (2014) Nicotine N-glucuronidation relative to N-oxidation and C-oxidation and UGT2B10 genotype in five ethnic/racial groups. Carcinogenesis 35:2526-33
Palmer, Julie R; Viscidi, Emma; Troester, Melissa A et al. (2014) Parity, lactation, and breast cancer subtypes in African American women: results from the AMBER Consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst 106:
SIGMA Type 2 Diabetes Consortium; Estrada, Karol; Aukrust, Ingvild et al. (2014) Association of a low-frequency variant in HNF1A with type 2 diabetes in a Latino population. JAMA 311:2305-14
Wu, Anna H; Gomez, Scarlett Lin; Vigen, Cheryl et al. (2013) The California Breast Cancer Survivorship Consortium (CBCSC): prognostic factors associated with racial/ethnic differences in breast cancer survival. Cancer Causes Control 24:1821-36

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications