Molecular Tumor Board Helps in Advanced Cancer Cases

With accelerating development of personalized cancer treatments matched to a patient’s DNA sequencing, proponents say frontline physicians increasingly need help to maneuver through the complex genomic landscape to find the most effective, individualized therapy.

In a paper published in the May 5 online issue of The Oncologist, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center detail their experience evaluating 34 patients between December 2012 and June 2013 using a molecular tumor board – a new type of advisory group comprised of multidisciplinary experts, including those in the fields of tumor genetics, basic science and bioinformatics. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

New Cancer Council Combines Local Centers’ Strengths

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute come together in novel collaboration

San Diego is a powerhouse for cancer research, home to the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center – the region’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center – and two NCI-designated centers for basic research: the Salk Institute Cancer Center and the Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

These singular enterprises have now formed a novel collaboration – the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council, or C3 – to leverage their distinct and combined resources and talents. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Scott Lippman Senior UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center leaders and Department of Medicine professors Scott Lippman, MD, and Barbara Parker, MD, are voting members of the new NCI Cancer Centers Council (C3).

Lippman is director and Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and senior associate dean and assistant vice chancellor for Cancer Research and Care, UC San Diego.

Barbara A. Parker, MDParker is professor of clinical medicine, UCSD School of Medicine and deputy director for Clinical Affairs, UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

She received her internal medicine residency training, served as chief medical resident and did her hematology-oncology fellowship at UC San Diego.

Lippman is professor of medicine and Parker is professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Launches Bold Campaign to Personalize Cancer Treatment

“My Answer to Cancer” will analyze patient tumor DNA to individualize cancer care

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center launched a bold plan today aimed at personalizing cancer treatment.  The “My Answer to Cancer” team of oncologists, bioinformaticians, pathologists and geneticists pledges to “sequence” or analyze the DNA of large numbers of patients with cancer in order to match each patient to the best available drug for his or her particular tumor. There will be two parallel approaches: a research approach to discover new mutations that cause cancer and a patient-care approach that will use confirmed mutations and other DNA abnormalities to direct patients to clinical studies of agents targeting these abnormalities. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom.

More about the “My Answer to Cancer” Program:

Drs. Daniel G. Blanchard and Barbara A. Parker: Profiles from “San Diego’s Top Doctors 2008”

Drs. Daniel G. Blanchard and Barbara A. Parker are among 25 Department of Medicine physicians who were named to the 2008 “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list.Here, they comment on their selection as Top Doctors and on their work at UC San Diego.

Read the full story about the Department of Medicine honorees here.

Daniel G. Blanchard, M.D.
Chief of Clinical Cardiology
UCSD Thornton Hospital

Professor of Clinical Medicine
Division of Cardiology

“It’s a testament to UCSD’s clinical excellence that we have more physicians on the ‘Top Doctors’ list than any other medical center in San Diego,” said Dr. Daniel G. Blanchard, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chief of Clinical Cardiology at UCSD Thornton Hospital.

Daniel G. Blanchard, M.D.

Dr. Blanchard has been named to San Diego Magazine’s “Top Doctors” list five times in the six-year history of the list.

Of his selection again this year, he said simply, “It’s a real honor to hear that your peers think you’re doing a good job.”

Dr. Blanchard, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, has been at UCSD since 1981. He graduated from the UCSD School of Medicine, and trained in the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Cardiology Fellowship Program at UCSD.

He’s now director of the UCSD Cardiology Fellowship Training Program.

“It’s an exciting time in the Division of Cardiology because we’re expanding,” he said. “And, frankly, it’s a pleasure.

“Our main missions are to maintain the excellence of our patient care, increase our ability to see additional patients, and develop the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center.”

The Sulpizio Center, now under construction, is expected to open in 2010.

Cardiology is a popular subspecialty of internal medicine, Dr. Blanchard said. Each year, over 450 physicians apply for the four available training slots in the highly-regarded UCSD Cardiology Fellowship Program.

One reason for the popularity of cardiology among internal medicine trainees, he said, is the availability of new tools and treatments that have been developed in recent years. Today, cardiologists often have good news for their patients even in the face of life-threatening illness.

He gave an example. “In the past,” he said, “a patient with advanced heart failure had only one option: a heart transplant. Now, we have medications and implantable devices that improve the function of a failing heart.

“I often get to tell people, ‘You have a very serious disease, but we have very good treatments for it, and we’re going to get you through this.’”

Barbara A. Parker, M.D.
Medical Director of Oncology Services
Moores UCSD Cancer Center

Professor of Clinical Medicine
Division of Hematology-Oncology

Dr. Barbara A. Parker is Medical Director of Oncology Services at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Recently, she reflected on her first year in that role.

Barbara A. Parker, M.D.

“We have made progress on many fronts,” she said, crediting the Cancer Center team, the University, the hospital, and the clinical enterprise for their support.Dr. Parker is Professor of Clinical Medicine in the UCSD Division of Hematology-Oncology, where she received her own fellowship training. She accepted the Cancer Center leadership position in late 2007.

In the past year, the Cancer Center has reorganized the faculty into discipline-based teams, made infrastructure investments, grown the clinical practice, increased the volume of patients being treated, and undertaken key recruitments to complement strengths in the faculty.

Dr. Parker sees the Cancer Center as the heart of a multidisciplinary care system that extends through UCSD’s facilities and outward to the greater community.

The Cancer Center and Radiation Oncology are opening a satellite radiation therapy facility in the North County. A new satellite facility is planned for the South Bay as well.

In addition, in response to an increased demand, the Cancer Center is expanding its own radiation oncology facility.

The Cancer Center is also offering seminars in key tumor areas to educate patients about the services and the care available there.

“We’re continuing to try to strengthen our patient-centered care for all disciplines,” Dr. Parker said. “There are many opportunities to develop novel treatments and targeted therapies for our patients.

“Our goal is to provide multidisciplinary care with compassion, new treatment, and new hope for our patients and their families.”

Dr. Barbara Parker Is Named Physician of the Year

Barbara A. Parker, MDFor her outstanding commitment to patient care in the hospital setting and in the community, Dr. Barbara A. Parker has received the 2009 Attending Physician of the Year award from the UC San Diego Medical Center.

Dr. Parker is Medical Director of Oncology Services at Moores UCSD Cancer Center and professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.  |  Read the full story from UC San Diego Health Sciences Communications

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