Co-Leaders: Robert Cardiff, M.D., Ph.D. and Xinbin Chen, D.V.M., Ph.D.
The Comparative Oncology Program has the goal of drawing on key strengths of UC Davis in animal research pertaining to the disease mechanisms that are implicated in the genesis and progression of cancer.
Its themes, linked by the use of animal models, include (1) tumor biology and the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, (2) infectious agents and cancer, and (3) preclinical assessment of novel anti-cancer therapies and diagnostics.
In pursuit of Theme 1, several investigators rely on a variety of animal models for investigating basic mechanisms of tumor biology, with emphasis on metastasis, angiogenesis, and chronic inflammatory processes that promote tumor development. Studies include the role of cell adhesion molecules in tumor biology, early events in oncogenesis, and spontaneous tumors in animals.
Areas of particular interest in Theme 2 include herpesvirus-associated carcinogenesis, chronic retroviruses and cell activation, bacterial-induced oncogenesis, vaccines for tumor viruses, and the basic science of immunology and vaccinology.
Theme 3 incorporates research into transplantable tumor models in mice, nutritional anti-cancer interventions, diagnosis of, and therapy for spontaneous veterinary tumors, and pre-clinical investigation of cell and gene therapies for cancer as well as evaluation of radiation and drug therapies targeting breast, brain, and prostate tumor cells.