NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Hawaii Cancer Center and The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu will partner on a project funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct gene expression studies focused on ways to detect liver cancer, the Center said today.
The research partners will use a $2.3 million, five-year grant to fund efforts to use positron emission tomography to measure molecules for cancer detection, and to profile global gene expression patterns in cancer-prone and normal tissue samples obtained from the imaged livers. Those samples will be used to create a catalog of cancer-related molecules that could be used in tests for the early detection of liver cancer and as drug targets for personalized therapeutics.
The project is the first funded effort of the Hawaii Cancer Consortium, an entity created to promote collaborations focused on translational research between partners within the state.
"By improving our ability to detect liver disease and cancer at an earlier stage, we can greatly reduce deaths and improve patient outcomes," said study co-leader Sandy Kwee, director of PET research at the Queen's Medical Center.
Liver cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the world, and its occurrence has been increasing in the US and in Hawaii in particular, where incidence and death rates are the highest in the nation.