UC Davis oncologist and researcher receives local cancer award

Landgraf Family and Amador Cancer Research Foundation held Spaghetti Western event to help fund award


Oncologist and clinical researcher Mamta Parikh has been selected by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center as the 2022 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award recipient. Parikh, an assistant professor of internal medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, will receive $25,000 to help fund her research evaluating the role of immunotherapy in bladder cancer.

Mamta Parikh
Mamta Parikh is the recipient of the 2022 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award 

The 15th Annual Spaghetti Western was held on June 18, 2022, to help raise money for the Christine and Helen S. Landgraf Memorial Fund, which supports groundbreaking research at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. The food and wine event at Cooper Vineyards in Plymouth is put on by the Amador Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Landgraf family and the Amador Cancer Research Foundation for this award. Funding from the grant will allow us to conduct a pilot clinical trial in patients with bladder cancer to determine how we can stimulate the body’s immune system to fight cancer more effectively in patients suffering from this devastating disease,” said Parikh.

While immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy has been shown to be an active treatment for bladder cancer, many patients do not respond to this therapy. Parikh and her collaborators are evaluating novel treatments aimed at improving the efficacy of immunotherapy by determining how the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) interacts with peptides that target key immune-related pathways.

Parikh’s clinical research is focused on improving outcomes in bladder, kidney and prostate cancer by investigating new agents in clinical trials. She received her medical degree from UC Davis School of Medicine and her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Boston University as well as a master’s in organic chemistry from UC Irvine.

The Christine and Helen S. Landgraf Memorial Fund has given annual grants to doctors and research scientists at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1973. The original endowment was established in memory of Christine Landgraf, who passed away from Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 27. She was a patient of oncologist Fred Meyers, who now leads the cancer center’s Office of Education, Training and Career Development.  

The memorial fund provides an annual scholarship to a junior faculty member engaged in cancer research. Landgraf’s parents, John and Helen Landgraf, longtime residents of Sacramento and Sutter Creek, started the fund.

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 cancer.ucdavis.edu.