Jump to content

UOG reaching out to local cancer patients, families and rese

Recommended Posts


by Sabrina Salas Matanane, KUAM News

Friday, December 02, 2005

The University of Guam's Cancer Research Center is now in the third year of a five-year, $3.6 million planning grant jointly with the University of Hawaii. To improve Guam's ability to fight cancer, additional researchers and patients are urged to participate. Many of the island's cancer victims and survivors have heard about a partnership grant from the National Cancer Institute, but unfortunately choose not to participate.

Ernesto and Tomiko Torralba are a married couple who were both diagnosed with cancer in the past few years. Ernesto was diagnosed with breast cancer and treated on Guam, and told KUAM News, "I was lucky to get chemo here not like other patients." Ernesto's wife was not as lucky.

Her diagnosis with lung cancer caused her to spend seven months in Hawaii for treatment due to lack of local resources. When the Torralbas were asked if they were aware of UOG's studies, they said they were aware but did not pursue it. "I received a post card from UOG, but was too shy," she added.

When informed about UOG's grant and mission to improve the quality of life for local cancer patients and their families, the Torralbas said they would change their minds. The purpose of the grant is to foster a mentor relationship to develop independent research infrastructure in universities serving minority populations. Guam was chosen by the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, according to director and researcher Dr. Carl-Wilhelm Vogel. "At our cancer center in Hawaii when I thought about if we should participate I thought the only logical choice would be an institution of higher learning that serves Pacific Islanders," he explained.

This week the two universities collaborated in an annual meeting aimed partially at addressing obstacles to developing UOG's independent research infrastructure. One obstacle is the difficulty in recruiting patients. According to UOG president Dr. Harold Allen, "One of the key components of the project right now is to create a comprehensive tumor registry and we're doing our very best to collect data that would go from the year 2000 to 2005 and make it comprehensive and that would include data on individuals who had left the island for care who may have returned who may not have returned."

Another obstacle to the project, according to Dr. Allen, is the difficulty in recruiting researchers. "I think its real success in the long-term will be to engage faculty with quite different disciplines and backgrounds. It would also be a very positive step I think to interest people from the Guam Medical Society. Many of them aren't able to conduct research but have research interest and if we find individuals who feel that they can contribute in some important way we would invite them to contact the University."

The University of Guam is in need of cancer patients and cancer researchers to help utilize its grant that its been given to partner with the University of Hawaii to develop its Cancer Research Infrastructure. For more information call UOG doctors Lee Yudin at 735-2002 or Gail Lisson at 735-2885.

KUAM's Samantha Lynott contributed to this report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.