Innovations Fall 2022 | Page 2


Among the many , and too often tragic , consequences of the

COVID-19 pandemic , have been delayed cancer care and paused clinical studies . A less talked-about but very disruptive and long-lasting effect on cancer centers across the country has been that of the “ Great Resignation ” by which , in this case , a large number of clinical professionals left research to work in the healthcare industry . This has certainly been true of our Clinical Trials Office ( CTO ). This essential program that brings , runs , and manages treatment trials , in collaboration with our community hospital partners , has seen a tremendous staff turnover , with a low in spring 2022 when only half of the staff remained . The CTO , under the exceptional leadership of Dr . Jonathan Cho , has made tremendous strides in the challenging tasks of rebuilding this program by hiring and training new staff at all levels . This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many people at the Center , starting with the remaining CTO staff which had to do more with less , the HR and administrative staff but also some retired CTO personnel who generously agreed to come back to train the new staff . All these individuals have been an inspiration for the entire Center .
Also , foremost on our mind , has been to ensure a smooth transition for our new director , Dr . Naoto Ueno , who will be joining us in mid-December . Dr . Ueno is a breast cancer oncologist , currently at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , who is internationally renowned in the areas of clinical trials and pre-clinical research . It is hard to imagine a better suited individual to lead the Center ’ s efforts to further develop clinical research in Hawai ‘ i . Our vision , shared with our community and University partners , remains to improve cancer care by developing and bringing new treatments to Hawai ‘ i , taking in consideration our unique setting and community needs , and to address the shortage of oncology professionals in the state , especially in the more rural areas .
This is a very exciting time for the Cancer Center as we prepare for a new permanent director to take the lead and begin the process to renew our NCI Cancer Center Designation .
I have been privileged to lead the Cancer Center as interim director for the past few months . Reflecting on my tenure , I am reminded that each of you is part of our Cancer Center ‘ ohana and we are deeply appreciative of all you do with us to reduce the burden of cancer in the islands .
Mahalo ,
Loïc Le Marchand , MD , PhD Interim Director
Warmest Welcome to the Incoming UH Cancer Center Director !

The search is over –

Naoto Ueno , MD , PhD , has been selected as the new Director of the University of Hawai ‘ i Cancer Center . Dr . Ueno is currently the Executive Director of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , where he is also a tenured professor of medicine . He has 15 years of leadership experience and nearly 30 years of experience in research and education , particularly in stem cell transplant , gene therapy , targeted therapy , and immunotherapy .
As a cancer researcher , physician , and survivor , Dr . Ueno brings expertise from both the patient and provider perspectives . The UH Cancer Center is excited to welcome him as he steps into his role in December .

Hawai ‘ i Cancer Consortium ( HCC ), led by the

UH Cancer Center , enhances our ability to make substantive advances in cancer research , education , community outreach , and improving cancer care to better serve the residents of Hawai ‘ i .
The Cancer Center conducts therapeutic trials with community oncologists through the HCC . This collaboration allows an extension of our clinical trials network , and the development and dissemination of evidence-based interventions .
› University of Hawai ‘ i Cancer Center
› Adventist Health Castle
› Hawaii Medical Service Association
› Hawai ‘ i Pacific Health
› Kuakini Medical Center
› The Queen ’ s Health System
› UH John A . Burns School of Medicine