UC Davis Cancer Center is a leader in team science, and this issue of Synthesis shows how our novel approaches to research and treatment are improving patients' lives.
I am particularly proud of our new organization – the UC Davis Cancer Care Network – which unites our institution with community cancer centers in Marysville, Merced, Pleasanton and Truckee. On August 14, medical teams at each location participated in our first "virtual tumor board." We all listened and watched via teleconferencing technology as Dr. Larry Heifetz of Tahoe Forest Cancer Center presented information about one of his patients. Cancer specialists in all five locations then contributed their perspectives and experiences to a discussion on how best to cure that patient's breast cancer. From that moment on, a new era in cancer care began in our region.
Two more projects involve advances in cancer imaging. Ramsey Badawi has added PET capabilities to the dedicated breast CT machine developed by his colleague, John Boone. Together, the two technologies will help us detect breast cancer earlier than other imaging systems allow. Another of Dr. Badawi's colleagues, Julie Sutcliffe, is concurrently developing new contrasting agents that help produce ultra highresolution PET images of cancer.
A couple of established researchers are leading the way in cancer treatment. Kit Lam, the combinatorial chemist of our program, is identifying compounds that distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones and, ideally, will help deliver treatments to those discrete targets. You can also read the touching stories of three patients of Carol Richman, who initiated the UC Davis Stem Cell Transplant Program 15 years ago. For each patient, a stem cell transplant provided an option for treating tough cancers.
I am also proud to share with you the story of Barbara Fingerut, a breast cancer survivor and woman of great character who has committed a sizeable donation toward establishing a new cancer center endowed chair. We are grateful for her trust in us and will use the funding to further expand our first-rate team of scientific talent.
The cancer center has a reputation for bringing the best researchers to UC Davis for the benefit of cancer patients. This issue of our magazine highlights why that reputation is so well-deserved.