Hawai'i is the single most promising site in the United States that can enhance the depth and breath of our knowledge on how to prevent and reduce cancer-related disparities among multiple racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographically isolated groups. The Cancer Prevention and Control Program (P&C) conducts research that aims to reduce cancer-related disparities in the people of Hawai'i and Pacific region, areas with remarkable cultural and ethnic diversity. Faculty research uniquely focuses on the primary prevention of cancer by advancing behavioral and bio-behavioral research to reduce modifiable lifestyle risk factors in healthy and high-risk youth and adult populations in community and clinical settings. P&C's two major themes are 1) to elucidate mechanisms by which intrapersonal, interpersonal, and societal/community level factors influence tobacco, alcohol, and betel nut use; nutrition; physical activity; and obesity, and 2) to test theoretically-grounded behavioral interventions among multiethnic youth and adults. Recent advances help to identify mechanisms by which the depictions of smoking and drinking in movies influence adolescent cigarette and alcohol use; elucidate the role of ethnicity in tobacco use and the roles of dual process theory and the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) in cigarette smoking among multiethnic populations; Identify gene-behavioral factors that influence cigarette smoking; unravel the applicability of TTIVI to physical activity behaviors and among multiethnic populations; provide racial/ethnic and gender context to the problem of obesity and weight management; and illustrate the efficacy of interventions grounded in a socio-ecological framework to increase physical activity and other lifestyle risk factors. Research/community capacity and dissemination grants increase translational capacity and the reach and adoption of risk reduction behaviors among multiethnic populations. Our newly restructured Program includes 10 full and 8 associate faculty members who bring diverse disciplinary expertise that helps the Program to accelerate scientific discoveries in primary cancer prevention, behavioral and biobehavioral research, and addictive carcinogens science. Faculty members hold appointments in the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, the University of Hawai'i Schools of Social Work, Nursing and Dental Hygiene, Pharmacy, Arts and Humanities, and the John A. Burns School of Medicine Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health, Medicine, and Public Health Sciences. Complimentary expertise includes 12 members with expertise in primary cancer prevention, 12 faculty with expertise in the behavioral and bio-behavioral sciences; 17 researchers engaged in health disparities research; and 8 members with long-standing experience in addictive carcinogens science. To accelerate progress in reducing cancer, P&C faculty members interact with the UHCC Epidemiology and Cancer Biology Programs, faculty from other colleges and schools of the University of Hawai'i, and faculty outside of the University of Hawai'i. The activities of the P&C Program rely on several UHCC shared resources including Biostatistics and Informatics, Genomics, Nutrition, and the Clinical and Translational Research Sciences and interactions through workgroups, seminars, and meetings. P&C faculty members have successfully competed to secure S7.2M in direct and $12.7M in total NCI-approved cancer research dollars. An additional 1.4M in direct and 1.5 M in total costs were secured from other peer-reviewed sources. Between 2005 and 2011, P&C members published 218 peer-reviewed cancer-focused papers. The percentage of collaborative publications increased from 25.2% in 2005 to 36% in 2011.
P&C holds extraordinary promise for contributing to the Cancer Center's goal to reduce the burden of cancer by accelerating progress in the prevention and control of cancer. Its discoveries can help to reduce the disproportionate burden of tobacco, alcohol, and betel nut caused cancers among racial/ethnic groups and increase UHCC capacity to reach populations with innovative interventions in the 21st century. Furthermore, since 50-75% of cancers can be prevented, P&C can accelerate progress in reducing the overall burden of cancer among diverse racial/ethnic, low socioeconomic, and geographically Isolated populations and contribute to the goal of reducing cancer disparities in the United States and Pacific region.
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