NEWS | January 17, 2012

UC Davis Cancer Center innovations featured on PBS Newshour


The acclaimed national news program PBS Newshour highlighted UC Davis Cancer Center  Friday on Public Broadcasting System stations, including in the Sacramento area on KVIE Channel 6.

David Gandara with PBS correspondent Betty Ann Bowser © photograph courtesy of JAX
David Gandara answers questions from PBS correspondent Betty Ann Bowser during filmed interview. Click here to see the full PBS NewsHour video. 

In the segment, the second in a two-day series, Newshour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser focused on two research programs that illustrate how UC Davis Cancer Center is breaking barriers to beat cancer: the comparative oncology program, in which cancer treatment for dogs is providing new insights for human cancer therapies; and a program in which patients' tumors are removed then grown in mice to help determine the best drug treatment to use against a patient's specific cancer.

The segment was part of an in-depth look at the "War on Cancer," 40 years after it was declared by President Richard Nixon. The news crew, which spent two days at UC Davis in December, also visited Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and interviewed Michael P. Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  The first segment focused on pediatric cancer care.

"We are proud that such a fine national news organization like PBS Newshour chose UC Davis Cancer Center to illustrate the important innovations in cancer diagnosis and treatment developed since the War on Cancer was declared," said Ralph deVere White, cancer center director and renowned urologist. "It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase how people in our local community can now access leading-edge treatments provided by a center that has been designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Click here to view the complete PBS NewsHour interview. 

David Gandara and patient Jane Coyne © photograph courtesy of JAX
David Gandara and patient Jane Coyne

DeVere White and David Gandara, a lung cancer specialist and special advisor for experimental therapeutics at the cancer center, were both interviewed for the PBS story, as well as Jane Coyne, a lung cancer patient of Gandara's. Coyne's tumor has been engrafted in a mouse that is housed at JAX West, a UC Davis Cancer Center research partner that is also designated by the NCI. Filming also took place at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Companion Animal Health.

In addition to the television segments, the Newshour is running several website features, including one in which deVere White suggests a different metaphor for the "War on Cancer." 

"I think we should look at this like a wildfire," deVere White told the Newshour. "The first thing you do in a wildfire is contain it … We need to increase our efforts to make sure we're maintaining that containment and at the same time try to learn more about the fire so we can put it out."

For more information about PBS Newshour, visit

UC Davis 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 top specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and offer patients access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program includes more than 280 scientists at UC Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The unique partnership, the first between a major cancer center and national laboratory, has resulted in the discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis is collaborating with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer-care services. For more information, visit