Cover shot of magazine

Synthesis shines light on equalizing the cancer fight

Magazine focuses on cancer center’s commitment to relieving cancer burden in underserved communities


The summer issue of UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s magazine Synthesis is available online. The issue shares new cancer treatments that unlock the body’s own immune system to destroy tumors. Molecularly targeted medicines as well as immunotherapy are getting patients back to normal activities in life. But breakthroughs that cure cancer are only meaningful if everyone has access to the same innovative care.

Cover of summer issue of Synthesis magazine

In this issue of Synthesis, you will learn about the inaugural Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity. You’ll also read about a new chief diversity officer who will oversee programs to optimize health equity and patient access throughout the very large and diverse region served by the region’s only “comprehensive” cancer center, designed by the National Cancer Institute.

As UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Primo “Lucky” Lara, Jr. said in the magazine’s opening message, “As we innovate in cancer care through research, we need to drive a culture change that rectifies disparities in cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.”

As an example of how the cancer center is equalizing cancer care, Synthesis spotlights a new program to deploy “promotores” in Latino neighborhoods to help women gain access to breast cancer screenings and treatment.

Readers will also learn what UC Davis is doing to treat advanced malignant melanoma and they will gain inspiration from one woman’s determination to prevent a recurrence of this often deadly skin cancer.

Kids with cancer might seem to possess superpowers as they get through it all — but the reality is that it is a difficult journey for them as well as their families. The cancer center’s new pediatric patient and family navigator is busy helping young patients and their parents cope with the twists and turns of treatment. Support from generous donors have made this navigation program possible.

This issue of Synthesis also examines the ways in which cancer researchers are studying the unique psychological impacts of cancer treatment on adolescents and young adults, and what the cancer center is doing to help this age group.

Finally, readers are likely to become motivated by one young cancer patient, hospitalized during his early childhood and again as a teenager, as he invites the public to join him in creating hope for a future that will be less traumatic for other young cancer patients.

Read these stories and many more articles in the summer 2022 Synthesis recently posted on the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center website. Subscribe to receive a free copy of the magazine at your home or at your office.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 100,000 adults and children every year and access to more than 200 active clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 240 scientists at UC Davis who work collaboratively to advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to leading-edge care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists. For more information, visit