Treatment options

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center patients have access to a number of treatments including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation and other advanced treatments, such as immunotherapy.

In many cases, experts from a variety of disciplines convene tumor boards to analyze individual cancer cases and discuss treatment options. In addition, some tumors can be genetically profiled to enable physicians to target treatments according to the tumor’s specific genetic mutations.

Below are available treatment options; however, cancers are highly variable, and each requires a personalized plan. Your oncologist will discuss the best approach for your unique diagnosis.

Surgery

The tumor and surrounding tissue are removed by a surgical oncologist.

Radiation therapy

High-energy radiation is used to shrink a tumor and kill cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

Medicines used to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells are administered intravenously or taken orally.

Stem cell transplant

A procedure that replaces a patient’s unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy cells collected from the patient (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogenic transplant).

Immunotherapy

Therapy that uses a patient’s own immune system to treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells or by introducing man-made proteins to kill cancer cells.

Visit cancer types for information about treatment options available for specific types of cancer.


Services

We use a holistic approach to cancer care and offer many support services for you and your loved ones.

Genetic counseling

Experts of the Hereditary Cancer Program help individuals determine cancer risk using genetic tests and offer recommendations for screening and risk reduction.

Adult infusion centers

Our infusion centers are staffed by nurses—many of whom are specially certified in oncology care, with expertise in adult cancers. Services include chemotherapy, blood transfusions, intravenous fluid and drug therapies, therapeutic phlebotomies and central-line management.

Social work services

A team of social workers is available to patients and loved ones from diagnosis through treatment. They offer psychological services and practical support, like finding temporary housing.

Onsite pharmacy services

We offer multiple pharmacy options throughout the health system, including inpatient (infusions) and outpatient (oral medication) pharmacies staffed by pharmacists who specialize in oncology medications and infusions. Some patients may qualify for home delivery of oral medication through the Specialty Oncology Program Service.

Nutrition counseling

Oncology dieticians offer tips for staying healthy during treatment, including managing treatment-related side effects like dry mouth and poor appetite.