Message from the Director
In this fall/winter 2010 issue of Synthesis I invite our readers to help us celebrate new beginnings as we share our stories of renewal.
After five years of planning, we are so pleased to have broken ground on a major – and much-needed – expansion of the UC Davis Cancer Center, appropriately marked on National Cancer Survivors Day. In this issue you will read about plans to add 46,000 square feet of clinical space to our existing center so that we can treat both our pediatric and adult patients under the same roof. Our hope is that the expanded cancer center will allow us to help even more people become cancer survivors.
We also will introduce you to a cadre of physician-scientists who add breathtaking expertise to our top-notch radiation oncology department. Department chief Richard Valicenti has assembled a powerful team of subspecialists who administer the most advanced and individualized radiation treatment to our patients.
This issue of Synthesis also explores the fresh approaches our researchers are taking to improve outcomes for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Working with our colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, we hope to pave the way toward more effective treatment of a disease for which advances have been too slow in years past. And Lorenzo Berti’s innovative research on the use of nanoparticles to deliver more targeted chemotherapy is highlighted in our pages devoted to basic science.
Other stories inside this issue explore the kinds of emotional renewal our patients and their loved ones experience during their cancer journeys. Our "Outreach" feature, for example, describes how those affected by cancer heal as they write when they participate in a popular program coordinated by volunteers. And our "Benefactors" contribution tells the story of one woman whose survival after ovarian cancer sparked a dedication to giving back to bolster UC Davis Cancer Center research.
We hope you enjoy these and other stories in this issue of Synthesis.
Ralph deVere White
Director, UC Davis Cancer Center
Associate Dean for Cancer Programs
Professor, Department of Urology