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    2279 45th St., Sacramento, CA 95817
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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Specializes in Personalized Care

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center has earned its place among the nation’s leading treatment centers with its combination of clinical excellence, cutting-edge research and educational outreach.

The National Cancer Institute has designated UC Davis as one of only 52 medical facilities across the country – one of only three in Northern California – that meets its stringent criteria for being a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

There is no better place to be for personalized, multidisciplinary cancer care. Treatment advancements, including those for mesothelioma, are made at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

More than 100,000 adults and children are seen annually by a large staff of oncology certified doctors, providing a wide range of treatment, prevention and diagnostic programs. Its unique strengths and resources have helped reduce the cancer burden for many throughout the region.

Clinical specialties include surgical oncology, radiation oncology, pediatric oncology, and hematology and medical oncology.

Mesothelioma Treatment at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Thoracic Oncology Program at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is led by Dr. Jonathan Riess, whose expertise in immunotherapy, novel targeted therapy and clinical trials has added to an already acclaimed department.

His clinical interests include lung cancer, thymoma, pleural mesothelioma and other rare and tough-to-treat malignancies. Riess serves on a National Comprehensive Cancer Network panel that targets non-small cell lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.

At UC Davis, Riess works closely with thoracic surgeon Dr. David Tom Cooke, who also has considerable experience treating patients with pleural mesothelioma. Nurses, radiation oncologists and pathologists all contribute to the collaborative approach to treatment.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Amanda Robinson Kirane sees patients with rare cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, which involves the abdominal cavity.

“Mesothelioma can often be a very challenging cancer,” Riess said. “But we are making advances in how to better treat it. I would highly recommend that patients with mesothelioma seek out an academic center like ours that can provide the very best multidisciplinary care possible. We have the expertise here.”

UC Davis Excels at Research

Advancing the treatment of cancer starts with great research, which is the norm at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Moving discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic, and the collaboration that is needed, is another reason this cancer center has emerged as a leader in the field.

There are more than 200 laboratory scientists at UC Davis Health, working on 300 projects distributed among 43 departments. It is all made possible by $50 million in research funding.

Research includes more than 200 clinical trials now underway, including several led by Riess, who is head of the Thoracic Oncology Program.

UC Davis played a significant role in the research that led to the FDA’s approval in 2020 of the latest immunotherapy combination to treat mesothelioma. That combination of Opdivo and Yervoy has been particularly effective for the sarcomatoid and biphasic variants of mesothelioma, according to Reiss.

On a different plane, UC Davis research played a major role in proving how low-level, nonworkplace exposures to naturally occurring asbestos was causing cases of mesothelioma. Its research, the most extensive of its kind, showed that living in parts of Northern California, where asbestos deposits are plentiful, increases the chance of developing the cancer.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • A phase II clinical trial studying the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, also known as Opdivo and Yervoy, in treating patients with rare cancers such as mesothelioma.