Message from the Director
Welcome to the spring/summer 2011 Synthesis, UC Davis Cancer Center’s biennial magazine designed to keep our extended community informed about how we are breaking barriers to beat cancer through leading-edge research, comprehensive care and critical outreach to underserved populations.
In this issue we are delighted to bring you several articles that highlight the cancer center’s growing focus on breast cancer, a disease that will touch one in eight women sometime during their lives.
Breast cancer work at UC Davis spans the gamut from basic research and breast cancer treatment to innovative outreach to those on whom the disease places an especially high burden, including rural Northern California women and American Indians.
This issue features the work of scientists Wolf-Dietrich Heyer and Stephen Kowalczykowski, who have made important discoveries about certain proteins in the repair of DNA and their role in breast cancer, and Hongwu Chen, Alexander Borowsky and Sheryl Krig, who are uncovering keys to potential breast cancer biomarkers that could lead to more specific tumor diagnoses and treatments.
Establishment of an epidemiological "shared resource" will help the cancer center formalize our ongoing interactions with the California Cancer Registry, home to the largest collection of cancer patient data in the country. Our story on this collaboration describes some of the efforts already under way to use this data to better understand cancer and improve care and outcomes for patients.
Finally, in this issue you will meet two terrific contributors to our cancer center: newly hired Karen Kelly, a lung cancer specialist who is spearheading efforts to enhance our trials recruitment efforts, and Robyn Raphael, a fundraising dynamo who works tirelessly on behalf of children with cancer at UC Davis and throughout the country.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Synthesis.
Ralph deVere White
Director, UC Davis Cancer Center
Associate Dean for Cancer Programs
Professor, Department of Urology