The University of Hawaii Cancer Centre is facing shrinking revenue streams and financial losses as it tries to stay afloat.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that without help the centre's reserves will be depleted within two years.
Officials at the university say the money troubles stem from an outdated business model.
Planners thought the centre's share of the state cigarette tax would bring in close to $20 million US dollars a year.
But cigarette tax revenues have been declining and the centre's new state of the art facility came with an $8 million annual mortgage payment that it can't afford.
The centre ended last year with a nearly $10 million deficit.
Its mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education and outreach.