University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
New Glioblastoma Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase 2 Trial

New Glioblastoma Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase 2 Trial

June 11, 2011

The first results of a multicenter Phase 2 clinical trial on a new brain cancer vaccine tailored to a patient's own tumor will be announced today (June 6) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2011 Annual Meeting in Chicago. The trial, conducted at ...

UCSF's Alvarez-Buylla Recognized for Pioneering Stem Cell Research

May 27, 2011

Neural stem cell scientist Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD, had a very early start to his day on Wednesday, receiving word in the wee hours that he was one of three scientists named to receive the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. He ...

Brisk Walking May Help Men with Prostate Cancer, UCSF Study Finds

May 25, 2011

A study of 1,455 U.S. men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer has found a link between brisk walking and lowered risk of prostate cancer progression, according to scientists at UCSF and the Harvard School of Public Health. The scientists found that men who walked briskly -- at least three miles per hour -- for at least three hours per week after diagnosis were nearly 60 percent less likely to develop biochemical markers of cancer recurrence or need a second round of treatment for prostate cancer. "The important point was the intensity of the activity - the walking had to be brisk for men to experience a benefit," said Erin Richman, ScD, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF who is the first author on the study, published today in the journal Cancer Research. "Our results provide men with prostate cancer something they can do to improve their prognosis." An earlier study, published earlier this year by UCSF's June Chan, ScD, and collaborators at the Harvard School of Public Health, showed that physical activity after diagnosis could reduce disease-related mortality in a distinct population of men with prostate cancer. The new study complements this finding, as it was the first to focus on the effect of physical activity after diagnosis on early indications of disease progression, such as a rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood levels. "Our work suggests that vigorous physical activity or brisk walking can have a benefit at the earlier stages of the disease," said Chan, the Steven and Christine Burd-Safeway Distinguished Professor at UCSF and senior author of both studies. Common Form of Cancer Among Men After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among men in the United States, and more than 217,000 U.S. men are diagnosed with the disease every year according to the National Cancer Institute. Last year alone 32,050 men died from the disease.

Childhood Cancer Survivors at Higher Risk for Future GI Compilations

May 20, 2011

Individuals who are treated for cancer during childhood have a significantly higher risk of developing gastrointestinal (GI) complications -- from mild to severe -- later in life, according to a study led by the University of California, San Francisco. The findings underscore the need for ...

UCSF Team Discovers Key to Fighting Drug-Resistant Leukemia

May 16, 2011

Doctors who treat children with the most common form of childhood cancer - acute lymphoblastic leukemia - are often baffled at how sometimes the cancer cells survive their best efforts and the most powerful modern cancer drugs. Now a team of a protein that leukemia cells use to stay alive. at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have uncovered the basis for this drug resistance: BCL6, a protein that leukemia cells use to stay alive. Targeting this protein may be the key to fighting drug-resistant leukemia, a discovery that may make cancer drugs more powerful and help doctors formulate powerful drug cocktails to cure more children of leukemia. "We believe this discovery is of immediate relevance to patient care," said Markus Müschen, MD, PhD, a professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF and the senior author on the study. As described in the journal Nature this week, Mueschen and his colleagues showed that mice with drug-resistant leukemia can be cured of the disease when given conventional cancer drugs in combination with a compound that disables the BCL6 protein. This compound was initially developed by Ari Melnick, a professor of pharmacology at the Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York and a co-author of the study. A Common Form of Cancer in Children Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children and accounts for about 23 percent of all cases of cancer in children under the age of 15, according to the National Cancer Institute. In this form of cancer, leukemia cells in the bloodstream and bone marrow continuously multiply, crowding out other, healthy cells. The disease progresses rapidly, and the leukemia cells begin to infiltrate tissues in other parts of the body. Treatment is neither cheap nor easy - but it can be miraculous. It usually involves a long course of drugs that can be physically and emotionally taxing for the children and their parents. Once finished, many enjoy complete remission and are able to live cancer-free, cured of the leukemia.

Rise in Deadly Skin Cancers Among Young Women is Linked to Wealth

May 11, 2011

What's fashionable, but sometimes fatal? Sun tanning, apparently -- at least among well-off young white women. In the United States, more than 90 percent of the most deadly skin cancers -- malignant melanomas -- occur in the white population. Among young women the incidence is ...