The Sacramento Region Community Foundation funds
a unique canine-human clinical trials program
Dogs have long been treasured as companions and protectors. Now, thanks to a $75,000 gift from
the RCA Community Fund of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, dogs are helping their human friends
find a cure for cancer. The knowledge will benefit canines and humans alike.
The $75,000 gift will fund the first year of a three-year clinical trials consortium that will combine
the resources of the Cancer Center with
those of the School of Veterinary Medicine, perhaps the first canine-human clinical trials collaboration
ever undertaken. The School of Veterinary Medicine
and the Cancer Center will jointly fund
the last two years.
The consortium will concentrate on investigational treatments for cancers that occur more frequently
in dogs than in people, including sarcomas and lymphomas. This approach will give canine cancer patients
at the vet school access to more anti-cancer drugs than ordinarily would be available to them. At the
same time, physicians at the Cancer Center
will get valuable information about the efficacy of new treatments sooner than they otherwise would.
"It's truly a win-win proposition for both species," says Joseph Tuscano, an associate professor of hematology
and oncology at the Cancer Center. He
and Cheryl London, an assistant professor of surgery and radiological sciences in the veterinary
school, will serve as principle investigators for the groundbreaking collaboration.
William Hegg, treated at the Cancer Center
a decade ago for prostate cancer, was instrumental in securing the new gift. A member of the board of
directors for the RCA Community Fund, Hegg convinced his fellow directors that an investment in the Cancer
Center would have far-reaching benefits for Sacramento and the region.
"In my opinion, the Sacramento community is fortunate to have a leader in the cancer field like UC
Davis Cancer Center," says Hegg, who is chairman of the board of Alleghany Properties, Inc.
The RCA Community Fund is a permanent endowment created when RCA Information Services, Inc., a national
credit company, donated its office and other assets to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.The
Sacramento Region Community Foundation is a nonprofit community foundation dedicated to helping people
connect to causes they care about. It has distributed more than $38 million since its inception in 1983.
In addition to Hegg, the foundation's board is made up of some of Sacramento's most distinguished business
and community leaders, including Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, dean of the University of the Pacific McGeorge
School of Law; Jeanne Reaves, president and CEO of River City Bank; and Frank Whittaker, vice president
of the McClatchy Company.
"The results of this novel consortium may motivate drug companies to investigate cancer drugs they might
not otherwise invest in, medications that could benefit both human and canine patients," says Ralph deVere
White, director of the Cancer Center.
"We are grateful to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation for helping to make this research possible."