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Building on basics

Beyond conventional treatments

Even expert practitioners of radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy - traditional approaches that have been the foundation of treatment for decades - acknowledge that medical science has a ways to go in the war against cancer. All too often, advances merely add days, weeks or months of life. The most promising discoveries lie in the development of entirely new ways of killing cancer, an area of research known as developmental therapeutics.

In the United States and around the world, scientists are investigating innovative approaches to treating the more than 100 malignant diseases known as cancer. New treatments come to the UC Davis Cancer Center due to two grants from the National Cancer Institute to investigate novel pharmacological agents and other therapies. These grants are typically awarded to about half a dozen institutions representing the top academic medical centers and research facilities in the United States.

"This means we're among the first in the nation to test new anti-cancer agents," says Gandara, who is a principal investigator for the Southwest Oncology Group and chair of the group's Lung Cancer Committee.


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