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CureTalks invites a diverse group of doctors, nutritionists, professors, researchers, patients, parents and health professionals from around the world to discuss a wide range of medical, health and wellness issues. 

Previous Podcasts

June 19 Redefining Cancer Palliative Care

Palliative care is the active holistic care of people across all ages living with a life-limiting illness to live as well as possible, for as long as possible — supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. It also aims to improve the lives of the patient’s families and their caregivers. Palliative care initially and historically focused on alleviating the relief of suffering at the end of life. However, it is now considered best practice and is increasingly implemented earlier in the trajectory of life-threatening health conditions.. Existing research suggests that palliative care is both effective in reducing symptom burden and improving quality of life, cost-effective and is synonymous with quality of care. We are talking to director of the Symptom Management Service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center Dr. Mike Rabow about the evolution of cancer palliative care, misconceptions, symptoms management and the multidisciplinary approach that it entails today.

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April 28 New Findings in Gastrointestinal Cancers

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide amounting to 4.5 million global deaths per year. According to the American Cancer Society statistics, GI cancers collectively have the highest incidence and account for 20% of estimated new cancer cases. GI cancers include esophageal, gastric, hepatocellular, pancreatic, small bowel, bile duct, anal, colorectal and gallbladder cancers. GI cancer expert Dr. Alan Venook discusses novel agents and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers and how new trial findings might affect treatment of these cancers in the future. 

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April 21, 2020: Managing your Mental Health During COVID-19

As the new practice of social distancing or reducing close physical proximity with others contributing to another deadly epidemic, that of social isolation and loneliness? As the world grapples with COVID-19, the population worldwide is escalating into negative psychological reactions like stress, adjustment disorder and depression. Feeling under pressure is quite normal in the current situation. We understand that managing mental health and psychological well-being during this time is as important as managing physical health. We are talking to Dr. Dianne Shumay on psychosocial support for cancer patients, caregivers, family members and how you can protect yourself and be supportive of others too.

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March 10, 2020: Latest in Brain Tumor Treatments and Trials

Brain tumors can be among the most challenging cancers to treat. The blood-brain barrier, a natural defense mechanism that shields the brain from harm can also prevent cancer treatments from reaching tumors. However, immunotherapy, precision medicine, and the other new approaches to treatments have been able to get through these barriers and effectively reach tumors. Listen for a discussion in the latest in brain tumor research and treatment with neuro-oncologist Dr. Nancy Bush from UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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October 10, 2019: New Developments in Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (although men can get it too). Some breast cancers are driven by inherited mutations while most are sporadic, driven by unknown causes or by environmental or behavioral factors like obesity, lack of exercise, or alcohol use. Breast cancer screening aims to reduce the number of women who die from the disease and the statistics tell us that even though the rates of breast cancer now are greater than they were in the early 1980s, fewer women are dying from the disease. However, the scientific evidence backing screening's benefits is mixed. Listen to a discussion with Dr. Esserman of UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center about developments in breast cancer screening and new treatments.

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August 15, 2019: Will Precision Medicine work for me? Advances and Challenges in Cancer Research

Precision medicine is an emerging approach in cancer treatment and prevention. Its central principle revolves around the ability to identify personal gene characteristics and match them to specific treatment options. The advances and challenges of precision medicine in cancer care were discussed with Dr. Luke Gilbert and Dr. Eric Collisson of UCSFs Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and patient advocates Heidi Floyd and Adam Hayden.

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April 23, 2019: Dr. Larry Fong on Cancer Immunotherapy

Dr. Fong, leader of the HDFCCC Cancer Immunotherapy Program, was featured in April 2019 on the CureTalks podcast for a live discussion of the latest in cancer immunotherapy research, clinical trials, and treatments.

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. Several types of immunotherapy are used to treat cancer. These treatments either re-engineer the immune cells or empower them to launch an attack on the cancer directly. Immunotherapy has led to remarkable results for some cancers, eradicating difficult-to-treat tumors and, in some cases, causing complete remission of disease.  

Listen to the full podcast below, or view the transcript at