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Cancer Epidemiology

The research goal of the Cancer Epidemiology Program is to understand the reasons underlying the marked ethnic/racial differences in cancer incidence and mortality it has documented over the past four decades in Hawaii. The program conducts studies related to the role of lifestyle (diet, obesity, exercise, smoking, etc.), genetics and infectious agents in order to identify risk factors that can lead to interventions aimed at reducing the burden of cancer in the state. The unique research of the Cancer Epidemiology Program makes use of our multiethnic population to address the burden of cancer in Hawaii. The Program’s strengths that enhance its research are:
  • A molecular component that provides investigators with the capability to include laboratory assays for genetic or epigenetic markers, infectious agents, and biochemical markers of exposure in their studies.
  • A well-developed nutritional assessment component.
  • A faculty with diverse expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, nutrition, bioinformatics, molecular genetics and molecular biology.
  • Active collaboration with other Cancer Center programs to apply their findings and to improve cancer treatment and prevention.
Special research emphasis has been placed on:
  • The role of dietary constituents and body composition in enhancing or reducing the risk of cancer.
  • Interactions between diet and nutrition and other external factors, including infectious agents, or host susceptibility factors, such as inherited factors.
  • Use of cohort, case-control, and other study designs to test hypotheses related to the etiology of breast, prostate, colorectum, cervix, ovary, lung, and other cancers.
  • Intervention trials and feeding studies that test the biological effects of particular dietary components, such as plant foods or well-done meat.