n October , the first stage of construction of the Early Phase Clinical
I Research Center ( EPCRC ) began . The facility will be the first of its kind in the State , providing access to phase 1 trials to cancer patients in Hawai ‘ i , eliminating the burden of travel to the continental U . S . for specialized treatments . Phase 1 trials represent cutting-edge cancer treatments and are often considered when patients have a particularly challenging form of cancer or when standard treatments have been unsuccessful .
The EPCRC will serve an estimated 50 to 75 patients annually and will have an estimated economic impact of $ 38.5 million over the next 10 years , with an ongoing annual contribution of nearly $ 6 million thereafter .
This project is a joint effort of the State of Hawai ‘ i , the National Institutes of Health , and now has direct support from Congress . While the initial phase of construction is a scaled-down plan for the clinic , the additional congressional funding will allow the Center to realize the fully designed space envisioned by the late senator , Breene Harimoto , who was a champion of this project but tragically passed of pancreatic cancer in 2020 .