The battle to defeat cancer progresses on multiple fronts. This issue of Synthesis takes you to two of
the most important: patient education and biomedical research.
Dr. Moon Chen will describe our education-based efforts to reduce cancer in Asian
Americans, the only ethnic group in the United States for whom cancer is the leading cause of death.
As principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute-funded project, Dr. Chen coordinates Asian American
cancer-control efforts at UC Davis and seven other academic institutions nationwide, from the University
of Hawaii to Harvard. Each institution focuses on reducing cancer in a different Asian American population.
Their common goal is to build partnerships with community-based organizations that can effectively deliver
In Sacramento, our focus is on the Hmong. This past summer, after
two decades in Thai refugee camps, 15,000 Hmong began arriving
in the United States. About 4,000 are expected to settle in our region. Dr. Chen has partnered with the Hmong Women's Heritage Association in Sacramento to assess cancer incidence and risk factors among the Hmong , translate cancer education materials, and develop courses that teach the basics of cancer prevention
and early detection.
On the biomedical research front, you'll read in this issue about an emerging science known as metabolomics.
This new discipline holds tremendous potential for oncology. Ultimately, metabolomics
may give us a single blood test that can diagnose cancer and monitor treatment response, much like the
glucose test used in diabetes management. You'll meet metabolomics
pioneers from diverse disciplines entomology, genetics, agricultural sciences, biology and biochemistry
from UC Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Their combined talents create a formidable collaboration. You'll also read about our new Genome
and Biomedical Sciences Facility, and how it has been designed to cultivate collaboration within and
beyond the cancer research program to advance science and improve human health.
Indeed, collaboration is a theme throughout this issue. You'll see it in our story about a clinical trial
of a promising new chemopreventive agent that may slow
early prostate cancer. Investigators in the Department
of Nutrition on the Davis campus and the Prostate Cancer Research Group at the medical center collaborated
to make this trial a reality. You'll also see collaboration at work in the story about the Institutional
Research Grant program, in which the American Cancer Society helps us foster a new generation of cancer
researchers. Collaboration is also manifest in our groundbreaking canine-human clinical trials consortium.
Funded by a generous grant from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, this novel consortium will
enable medical and veterinary oncologists, working together, to test new cancer treatments more quickly
than they could working separately. It's a collaboration that will benefit both species.
We end this issue, appropriately enough, with photos and a brief report from our last National
Cancer Survivors Day celebration. Survivorship is the fundamental objective of all of our collaborations,
whether with the Hmong Women's Heritage Association or Lawrence
Livermore. We look forward to the day when, together, we eliminate the suffering and death caused by cancer.