Director’s message

Dear Reader,

People affected by cancer are at the center of what we do. In our research laboratories, clinics, hospital and even pharmacies our scientists, clinicians and staff are laser-focused on either preventing cancer from developing, detecting cancer early or working to help patients live longer and better after a cancer diagnosis.

In this issue of Synthesis you will learn about several examples of this mission, ranging from highly specialized imaging tools to better detect pancreatic cancer to a program that supports adolescents and young adults with cancer and connects them through our annual Pushing Past Cancer conference.

You will be amazed at the stunning images captured by the MUSE microscope, a technology developed by UC Davis and other scientists. These images represent what we hope will be a huge advance in the ability to analyze tissue specimens immediately after a biopsy, enabling a rapid diagnosis and sparing patients the anxiety caused by waiting days for pathology results — and expediting treatment.

For patients on clinical trials, our Investigational Drug Service does far more than dispense experimental cancer medications. Our story describes how these specialty pharmacists are an essential part of the care team, ensuring that patients are safe as they travel through their cancer treatment journey.

We hope you enjoy these and other stories in this edition of Synthesis. If you have any suggestions for future editions, please contact our editor, Dorsey Griffith, at