UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center

John, Paddy, Max, and I visited the University of California San Francisco Medical School today to tour their Cancer Research facilities. We arrived about 75 minutes late for our tour thanks to SF traffic and stellar navigation, but the ever patient Ann Carollo met us with a big smile and open arms… well, really, arms full of UCSF cycling jerseys.

Dr. David Stokoe spoke to us about current cancer research and advancements taking place at UCSF. Dr. Stokoe’s own laboratory is undertaking a project to match patients with specific cancer treatments (in a big-picture sense). In recent years, it has been discovered that there are many forms of cancers. For instance, in the past, it was believed that there was only one type of breast cancer.  As a result, all women with breast cancer were given similar treatment despite having different cancers.

With our knowledge now that one cancer may take many forms, it has been possible to predict patients’ responses to cancer drugs by examining mutations in the original cancer tumors. Rather than having trial-and-error drug prescription or chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets proliferating cells in the body, cancerous and non-cancerous, research on the genetic origins of cancer, like that being done in Dr. Stokoe’s lab will one day be able to predict a particular drug treatment that will work most effectively for patients with certain types of breast, pancreatic, lung, and et cetera cancers. A big part of this future success is figuring out the differences and similarities that exist between types of cancers and comparing drug responses in patients with various types of known cancers.

Luck is a great factor as well. Widespread clinical trials of some new cancer drugs have led investigators to find patients who have variations of a type of cancer, and this has helped them study those cancers more in depth. The implications to cancer research at UCSF is far-reaching and exciting considering the fact that 10 years ago the only option for cancer was injecting a poison into your body that targeted and killed all presently proliferating cells. After talking with Dr. Stokoe, a fellow cyclist, I’m a bit less concerned about having testicular cancer after years of riding.

Here are our future doctors, John and Paddy, discovering exciting new data about Phosphoinositide 3-kinase in the Stokoe lab. Mmm-Brilliant!

On top of it all, they gave us UCSF urology cycling jerseys! JERSEYS! I don’t have pictures of them at the moment, but you’ll see us wearing them apart across the US. FYI, urology is our favorite “ology”. (And I’m sure we’ll all be seeing urologists later on. Riding on saddles isn’t exactly conducive to making babies.)

Social bookmark this page

2 Responses to “UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center”

  1. Isaac Says:

    please share anything you’ve discovered about bicycling and baby-making! i’ve just got to ride *cough* bicycle.

  2. Cross Country for Cancer » Blog Archive » Radius and Crank Says:

    [...] « UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center Fundraising: Palo Alto Bike-a-Thon » [...]

Leave a Reply