|Spring 2010-News from the Director|
In this issue of Crossroads, we provide you with an inside look at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility. This new, state-of-the-art facility completely changes the patient’s experience with radiation delivery at UAB.
For far too long, radiation oncology facilities have been windowless, dark areas often relegated to the basements of buildings to limit radiation exposure. This facility changes all of that and provides a modern, open and cheerful atmosphere for patients, families and medical personnel.
All of us at the Cancer Center and UAB are most grateful to a very generous community that worked extremely hard to raise the funds necessary to make the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility a reality. I encourage you to visit when you get a chance in order to see the end result of this remarkable effort.
Also highlighted in this issue is the importance of biorepositories to cancer research. These facilities collect and store specimens from both cancer patients and non-cancer patients for comparative studies that are essential.
With ever-advancing technology, we can study the molecular basis of cancer including genetics, proteins and the complex signaling pathways that promote or limit growth (oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes), cause new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), or cause a cell to recognize that it is abnormal and undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis or “cell suicide”). Biorepositories allow us to compare these genes, proteins and signaling pathways in disease and non-disease and thus begin to unravel the mysteries of cancer. This kind of knowledge helps us to identify men and women at risk for cancer and then modify that risk and tailor the therapy to the specific abnormality.
We are truly entering a new era of personalized care in medicine, and it is exciting for all of us at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to be part of it. As always, thank you for your continued support.
Edward Partridge, M.D.
Director and Evalina B. Spencer Chair in Oncology