Health SystemSchool of MedicineMedical CenterMedical Group
UCDHS logo periodical
Building on basics

Prostate Puzzle

Passion for prevention

Radiation oncologists, extensively trained in the safe use of radiation to treat cancer, typically are not involved in population and prevention studies.

But Vijayakumar is not a typical radiation oncologist. He was the only radiation oncologist among the more than 90 principal investigators in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. A national trial with nearly 19,000 men participating, the PCPT seeks to determine whether the drug finasteride can prevent prostate cancer.

Vijayakumar was also the lone radiation oncologist tapped as a principal investigator for the African-American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study, a national effort to gather blood samples from black men with family histories of the disease in hopes of identifying responsible genes.

Vijayakumar’s newest research project also focuses on prevention. Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program, the new study will assess whether vitamin D can prevent cancer recurrences in men who have completed radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

A way to prevent prostate cancer may be a long way off. But Vijayakumar thinks methods of postponing prostate cancer — keeping it at bay for five or 10 years — may be within reach.
“Postponing prostate cancer could have a real impact,” he says. “If we could delay the average age that a man gets prostate cancer, from age 67 to age 77, that would be a good thing.”


Home | Table of Contents | To our Readers | Building on Basics
Focusing on Patients | In Translation | First Steps
Campus Connection | Benefactors | News in Brief

UC Davis Health System | © 2000, 2001, 2002 UC Regents. All rights reserved.

Message to Editor
Supporting Cancer Center
UC Davis Cancer CenterUC Davis Health System


Radiation therapist Tomain Murphy, left, is a member
of prostate cancer patient Joseph McCray's multidisciplinary treatment team.