Cancer Control

T.Nguyen R.Pasick
Program Leader: Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD
Program Co-Leader: Tung T. Nguyen, MD


October 2014
The Cancer Control Program welcomes its newest member, Dr. Paul Volberding, Professor of Medicine at UCSF, the Director of the AIDS Research Institute, Research Director of Global Health Sciences and the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research.

P.Volberding Dr. Volberding trained at the University of Utah and UCSF where he was boarded in Medical Oncology. He served as the Chief of Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and founded the HIV/AIDS program there initially based on his extensive work with AIDS-related malignancies, particularly Kaposi’s sarcoma. He was until recently the Chief of the Medical Service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. While his career has primarily focused on the development of antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection, Dr. Volberding has remained involved in the hematology and oncology of HIV infection.

Under his leadership the UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research has developed a strong interest in HIV malignancies. In that capacity and as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Infectious Disease Institute of Makerere University in Kampala Uganda, he has encouraged the expansion of cancer related research through NCI supplements to CFAR for pilot projects of junior investigators and through a supplement to establish a tumor tissue repository in the Uganda Cancer Institute.

Dr. Volberding was an external reviewer of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium. He served as the liaison to the VA Medical Center for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the co-editor in chief of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and a founder of HIV InSite, a comprehensive source of HIV information. He served as Co-Editor of the major textbook, Global HIV/AIDS Medicine. He is the founder and Chair of the Board of the International Antiviral Society - USA. He has served as the President of the HIV Medical Association of the IDSA and of the International AIDS Society. He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999.


J.TsohCongratulations to Cancer Control Program member Dr. Janice Tsoh on the awarding of her first R01 entitled “A Family-Focused Intervention for Asian American Male Smokers,” funded by NIDA. This 5-year project evaluates the efficacy of a family-focused intervention in promoting smoking cessation in Chinese and Vietnamese male smokers using a 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial. Co-Investigators include Cancer Control Program members Dr. Nancy Burke and Dr. Tung Nguyen.
N.BurkeCongratulations to Cancer Control Program member Dr. Nancy Burke on the awarding of her first R01 entitled “ Health Literacy Systems in the Safety Net: Lessons from Complex Care Management (CCM),” funded by NINR. This mixed methods project aims to provide a description of factors within CCM programs that help address patients’ needs, how such characteristics enhance or inhibit patient engagement and system health literacy, and develop a patient engagement measurement tool.

The goal of the Cancer Control Program is to foster and sustain an integrated transdisciplinary environment for dedicated multi-level and multi-ethnic cancer control research. The scope includes studies of mechanisms of cancer etiology at a population level, interventions from prevention through survivorship, and the application of health services research methods to understanding health care system issues. The Program’s research encompasses biological, behavioral, and social factors as well as healthcare delivery services affecting cancer prevention and cancer care, particularly for people living in the geographic area of Northern California served by the Cancer Center.  This diverse population includes large proportions of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos as well as those who have limited English proficiency or are otherwise disadvantaged in receiving high quality prevention and clinical care for cancer.

Because of the communities we serve, the Program's focus is on how to conduct cancer control in diverse populations.  Based on a shared understanding of the multi-level nature of cancer control research in diverse populations the Program themes are:

  • Genetic and biological determinants of cancer
  • Cancer health disparities, and
  • Precision medicine and its implications for the health care system.

The Program is led by Dr. Robert Hiatt, whose career has been dedicated to conducting social and behavioral research in cancer disparities among multi-ethnic populations, and to training a diverse cadre of cancer disparities population scientists; and Dr. Tung Nguyen, a clinician researcher with scientific expertise in Asian American cancer disparities and community-based participatory research.

The Program adds value to the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center by bringing expertise in epidemiological, behavioral, economic, and social and cultural aspects of cancer to clinical programs; by connecting community members, cancer scientists and clinicians; by fostering the intra-programmatic and inter-programmatic collaborations that advance knowledge in cancer control; and by conducting significant and successful training programs to increase the number of researchers who are from under-represented minority communities. Future directions include expansion of the Program via new and continuing multi-component grants, addition of members through recruitment and advancement of junior faculty, and increased collaboration with basic and clinical science programs.