Two years ago, Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, issued a bold
challenge to the cancer research community: Eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by 2015. Dr.
von Eschenbach reiterated that challenge when he visited Sacramento in October to keynote the UC Davis
Cancer Research Symposium, an annual two-day scientific meeting held in the Cancer Center auditorium.
As 2005 unfolds, we have 10 years to meet the director's challenge. I'm confident it's a goal we can
achieve and as you read this issue of Synthesis, you'll see why I'm so optimistic.
You'll meet Jennifer Whitney, a mother of two young boys who is undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.
Like so many women with this disease, Jennifer was diagnosed after the cancer had spread to other tissues.
While "cures" total elimination of the cancer are less common than we would like in this circumstance,
suffering and death from the disease are in retreat. Many women today live with ovarian cancer for many
years, keeping the disease at bay with regular chemotherapy, while living rich and full lives. In these
pages you'll read about the exciting progress our researchers are making toward an effective screening
tool for ovarian cancer and a new, targeted treatment for the disease.
You'll also read about our work with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists to exploit nanotechnology
in the fight against cancer. And you'll hear about our efforts to help launch caBIG, a World Wide Web for
cancer that will allow investigators and institutions around the globe to share information and advances
more rapidly than ever before.
If we're going to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer, however, we can't lose sight of one
of most effective approaches of all preventing the disease in the first place. Few people have done more
to prevent cancer than Dileep Bal, chief of the California Department of Health Services' Cancer Control
Branch. We introduce you to him in these pages. Bal has been instrumental in making California the nation's
no-smoking section, and now he's joining forces with us in what promises to be a formidable partnership
for cancer prevention in California.
Also in this issue, we revisit the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund and share with you that group's
stunning achievement. In a little less than four years, the group has raised a million dollars for cancer
research at UC Davis. On behalf of everyone at the Cancer Center, I thank the members of the ACCEF for
their tremendous generosity, dedication and contribution.
Thanks also to our readers. Dozens of you have taken the time to fill out the survey in the magazine and
suggest story ideas. The ovarian cancer story is one of your suggestions, as is the article that takes
you inside our adult infusion center a place where extraordinary courage and grace are manifest every
day. Many of you also sent checks to help fund the research we do.
With support like this, we can meet any challenge.