NEWS | May 22, 2012

Ralph de Vere White to give key lecture at national urology conference


UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center director Ralph de Vere White will give a plenary speech at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Atlanta today.

Ralph deVere White Ralph deVere White

De Vere White, a renowned urologist, will speak on the potential of microRNA (miRNA) in prostate cancer. MiRNAs are short snippets of nucleic acid converted from DNA that play an important role in the regulation of cancer genes. MiRNAs may turn out to be excellent targets for prostate cancer drugs or biomarkers for the disease.

De Vere White has done extensive research in the area of castrate-resistant prostate cancer, when the patient becomes resistant to drugs that prevent the male hormone production can no longer control  prostate cancer growth.

He notes that while gains have been made in the development of new approaches to castrate-resistant prostate cancer, it is unlikely that any single therapy will be sufficient to cure the disease.

"MiRNAs offer the hope of addressing all of these issues and, thus helping defeat the disease," he said. "To date, the ability to control cancer based on DNA genetic analysis has been disappointing."

De Vere White's lecture at the conference will include discussion of four specific miRNAs driven by androgen that are currently under investigation at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The American Urological Association is the premier professional association for the advancement of urologic patient care. It has more than 18,000 members.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit


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