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Shame of a Nation
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The Man Who Knows Too Much
The Culprit is Cancer

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Fall 1998
The Culprit is Cancer
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Gene therapy trials all over the country are indicating it may be possible to repair mutated genes by introducing into tumors normal copies of the mutated gene that caused the tumor in the first place.

We are in the early stages of "teaching" the human immune system to fight cancer that has spread through the body. Tumor cells are being surgically removed, modified in the lab, irradiated to prevent them from growing, and used to make a vaccine against a patient's tumor.

And we have made a major discovery right here at UCLA, where Dr. Dennis Slamon's 12 years of work have led to an antibody that may control a most aggressive form of breast cancer developed by some 30 percent of women who have the disease.

We are identifying more and more genes that are altered in cancer. And we are harnessing technology to develop treatments that target those genes exclusively.

Our goal is to develop ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer - this combination will ultimately eradicate the disease.

Research cures cancer. More than eight million cancer survivors prove it. We are moving research from the laboratory to the patient faster and faster.

We have won the battle to understand our enemy. We have proven that we can not only treat cancer, but prevent it as well.

I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of cancer.

For information about ongoing clinical trails at UCLA,
please see the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center's Web site at http://www.cancer.mednet.ucla.edu.
For other clinical trails, contact the National Cancer Institute at http://cancertrials.nci.nih.gov.

Gasson is director of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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