UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center selected oncologist and clinical researcher Mamta Parikh 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.
The 15th Annual Spaghetti Western was held June 18 to help raise money for the Christine and Helen S. Landgraf Memorial Fund, which supports groundbreaking research at the cancer center. The Amador Cancer Research Foundation hosted the food and wine event at Cooper Vineyards in Plymouth.
“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,” Parikh said.
While immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy has been shown to be an active treatment for bladder cancer, many patients do not respond to it. 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 the UC Davis School of Medicine and her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Boston University. She also has a master’s in organic chemistry from UC Irvine.
The Christine and Helen S. Landgraf Memorial Fund has given annual grants to UC Davis cancer 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.
The memorial fund awards 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.