Research Projects - Cancer

Cancer patients, people with cancer, mom and daughterCancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. While we have learned much about lifestyle steps - such as not smoking - that reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, many questions remain. PHREI Investigators hope to answer these questions and offer better diagnoses and treatments.

Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO)

PHREI, in collaboration with Straub Clinic and Hospital, is one of 10 centers funded nationally to determine the effectiveness of screening for these four types of cancer among individuals age 55 to 74. This study began in 1992 and is now following approximately 11,000 participants in Hawaii and 155,000 nationwide.  Information is being collected on all cancers diagnosed in this cohort.  This is the largest cancer screening trial ever conducted in the United States.


PLCO's national website:


Dr. Peter Balkin performing a CT scanNational Lung Screening Trial (NLST)

PHREI was one of 33 sites in the US comparing the use of chest x-ray and spiral low-radiation-dose computed tomography (CT) to determine the effectiveness of these two screening procedures in reducing the number of deaths due to lung cancer. PHREI screened and followed some 2,400 current and former smokers 55 to 74 years of age in Hawaii. More than 53,000 were involved in the study nationally.  Local collaborators include Straub Clinic and Hospital and the American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific, Inc.  Data is continuing to be collected on participants.


Screening of individuals at high risk for lung cancer by low dose CT lowered the death rate from lung cancer by 20% in the study and is now a recommended screening procedure covered by various insurance plans.


NLST's national website: