Message from the Director
At UC Davis Cancer Center, we have dedicated ourselves to understanding cancer on multiple levels, from its most intricate molecular characteristics to the physical, emotional and social impact it has on people's lives. This deep and far-reaching approach to the disease is especially important because we know that cancer affects different people in different ways.
In this issue of Synthesis, we will tell you about some of our efforts to uncover and address these differences. For example, in our review of UC Davis research into use of ionizing radiation for cancer diagnosis and treatment, we learn about one project to determine how various types of skin cells respond differently to radiation exposure. These findings could one day help personalize radiation therapy.
Another story examines research findings that suggest where a woman lives may determine whether she is offered breast reconstruction after mastectomy, an approach now considered standard of care, but not always followed.
Our story on "Be Smart With Body Art," a public-health campaign to reduce the spread of hepatitis C, a virus that causes liver cancer, explores the risks young people face when they fail to ask key questions before getting tattoos or body piercings.
Because research into these and other cancer health disparities is critical to finding cures that benefit all cancer patients, we are supporting the development of a diverse cadre of cancer researchers. We explore those efforts in a story about ET-CURE, our National Cancer Institute-funded program to train college science students from underserved populations in emerging cancer therapies.
We hope you enjoy these and the other stories in our Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Synthesis.
Ralph deVere White
Director, UC Davis Cancer Center
Associate Dean for Cancer Programs
Professor, Department of Urology