Division of Hematology and Oncology News & Job Opportunities
Moon S. Chen, PhD, MPH is a co-founder of the National Task Force with Dr. Gary Euler of CDC and a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, particularly as they affect Asian-American populations. When Dr. Chen was professionally challenged with the task to “eliminate health disparities”, he could think of only one example where health disparities have ever been eliminated... and that was the historical example of smallpox eradication. Today because of smallpox eradication, there are no disparities between any people groups as smallpox has been eliminated from the face of the globe. At the 2008 NIH Conference on the Science of Health Disparities, he proposed that hepatitis B viral infections offers the world’s next best candidate for elimination…and that HBV could be eliminated through the same approach as smallpox. This would be through “case finding”, i.e., screening to identify any “positives” and referring them to appropriate treatment and for those who lack natural immunity, to vaccination. Concurrently, completing the birth-dose of HBV and the continuation of HBV vaccinations for youth could spare future generations from HBV. This vision drives his passion for the Task Force’s work and the potential for seeing a world free of HBV-linked infections. Currently he is UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Cancer Control and Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UC Davis, continuing to be engaged in HBV control and also leads a portfolio of research that addresses determinants of cancer risk and their mitigation in human populations.
New SU2C-American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Dream Team Announced
Dr. Chong-Xian Pan receives new $2.4 Millon RO1 grant to extend his work to develop nanoparticles which target and eradicate leukemia stem cells. The goal of this project is to develop nanotherapeutics that can specifically deliver the chemotherapeutic drug daunorubicin into acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells (targeted delivery) and relase the drug inside the cells (timed release) in order to eradicate this cell population. Leukemia stem cells (LSC) are relatively resistant to the conventional chemotherapy and can subsequently produce more leukemia cells to cause disease recurrence. In order to cure leukemia, LSC must be eradicated, and this therapy decreases therapy-induced toxicity and mortality owing to the sequestration of the drug inside the micelles.
UC Davis researchers win grant to answer key questions in surveillance of small lung nodules
The grant is one of five awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in February as part of a $64 million program to answer critical clinical questions about care for cancer, back pain and stroke. UC Davis’ share of the programs funds is $2.3 million, distributed over the length of the five-year research effort. Diana Miglioretti, UC Davis Dean’s professor in biostatistics with the Department of Public Health Sciences and a cancer center researcher, and Karen Kelly, professor of medicine who is a lung cancer specialist and associate director for clinical research at the cancer center, are co-principal investigators on the grant.
Study Listed as Major Achievement in Cancer Research & Care
Research led by Dr. Moon S. Chen working at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center was selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology for inclusion in Clinical Cancer Advances 2015, the Society’s annual review of progress against cancer and emerging trends in the field. The study is titled, “Twenty years post-NIH Revitalization Act: Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT): Laying the groundwork for improving minority clinical trial accrual.” Dr. Chen is extremely active on a regional, state and national level making a significant difference in obtaining effective treatment for cancer, along with his co-authors, Dr. Primo Lara, Dr. Julie Dang, Dr. Debora Paterniti, and Dr. Karen Kelly. Dr. Chen is especially known for making an impact in obtaining greater access to cancer care for minority populations. This study is featured as one of the year’s major achievements in clinical cancer research and care. To learn more, read the report at www.cancerprogress.net/CCA.