UC Davis lung cancer experts introduce Latin American oncologists to advances in care


For three days this week 19 oncologists from throughout Latin America converged on the UC Davis Health campus to learn about advanced lung cancer care with a range of experts from the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Tumor board meeting at the Cancer Center with visitors.
Tumor board meeting at the Cancer Center with visitors.

The “preceptorship” was organized by David Gandara, professor and emeritus director of thoracic oncology, to educate cancer doctors about the latest approaches to a disease that continues to be a leading cause of cancer death throughout the world.

“There is a great need to educate oncologists about advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer globally,” he said. “Part of the mission of our Comprehensive Cancer Center is outreach. We are a regional referral center for education and patient care, and we can have a global impact by educating physicians.”

The oncologists followed a rigorous schedule, with scientific lectures and presentations on a range of topics including the role of radiology, pulmonology, surgery and radiation oncology. They also learned about molecular testing, clinical trials, new therapies such as immunotherapy and the promise of liquid biopsy in lung cancer diagnosis.

On Tuesday, the group joined a packed lung cancer tumor board, in which experts in pathology, radiology, surgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology go over tough patient cases with their counterparts at Tahoe Forest and Rideout cancer centers, two UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network sites.

During a lunch break, oncologists from Uruguay said they were impressed at the specialized approach to cancer care at UC Davis Health, and they appreciated the more interactive teaching methods they enjoyed during their visit.

“This team has a lot of experience,” said oncologist Florencia Gari. “They are showing us another reality, a new way to work with patients that is interdisciplinary.”

Added her colleague Virginia Rodriguez, “These people have so much experience, they are like rockstars to us!”