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Pacific Health Research Institute Awarded $2.8 Million in Research Funding
Date:8/31/2009

r Balkin of PHRI will continue to lead the NLST effort in Hawaii, where 2,400 current and former smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 received free lung cancer screenings and continue to receive annual follow-up to monitor their general health. Participants also receive referrals to smoking cessation programs if they are interested in quitting smoking.

"While Hawaii has one of the lowest lung cancer death rates in the nation, our state's diverse ethnic population makes us an important location for this study's implementation," said Dr. Bruce Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of PHRI. According to statistics from the American Lung Association, more than 1,100 Hawaii residents die from lung cancer each year.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 90 million current and former smokers in the United States are at high risk for lung cancer. Death rates for this disease, unlike many other cancers, have not declined. When detected, lung cancer has usually spread outside the lung in 15 to 30 percent of cases. Spiral CT can pick up tumors well under 1 cm in size, while chest X-rays detect tumors about 1 to 2 cm in size. Conventional wisdom suggests that the smaller the tumor when found, the more likely the chance of cure. The NLST directly compares the two methods of detection and their capacity for reducing deaths from lung cancer.

"This research funding allows PHRI to continue addressing a major medical problem that afflicts hundreds of thousands of people," added Stevenson. "The NLST and other research that we do here have a direct impact on health and healthcare throughout the Pacific region and abroad. The PHRI team is privileged to be a part of this vital cancer research study that may save lives."

PHRI is one of 10 study sites in the NCI PLCO Cancer
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