Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States. An estimated 213,380 new cases (114,760 men and 98,620 women) of lung and bronchus cancer will be diagnosed in 2007, and 160,390 deaths (89,510 in men, 70,880 in women) are estimated to occur because of the disease. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80% to 85% of all lung cancer cases and includes 3 major types: (1) adenocarcinoma; (2) squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinoma; and (3) large-cell carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer seen in the United States and is also the most frequently occurring cell type in nonsmokers. Important updates to the 2008 guidelines on NSCLC include the addition of tables on drugs and dosing information on chemotherapy regimens for adjuvant therapy.

For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit

The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center ( continues a substantial growth period that began with its NCI designation in 1999. An anonymous pledge of $150 million in 2007 enabled expanded infrastructure for experimental therapies; enhanced bioinformatics and database systems; new programs in key developing areas; and an emphasis on patient support services, including outpatient symptom management and survivorship programs. Key is the ambitious Investigational Therapeutics Initiative led by Eric J. Small, MD (second photo on cover). In addition to providing augmented clinical research support and funding for an early-phase trials unit, the initiative will include efforts in clinical pharmacology/pharmacogenomics, bioimaging, target validation/biomarkers, and medical informatics.

Also with prominent Center-wide leadership roles are Peter R. Carroll, MD (third photo on the cover), director of strategic planning and clinical services, and Gerrie Shields (fourth photo), administrative director for clinical operations. Led since 1997 by Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS (not pictured), the Center ranks first in California and sixth nationwide in NCI research grants and is home to SPORE grants for breast, prostate, and brain cancers.

Unique within the University of California system in focusing solely on biomedical research and graduate health-science education, UCSF is unusual also in its highly distributed geographic presence, with 5 principal campuses and numerous satellite locations. At its newest campus, UCSF/Mission Bay, the Center will open a second laboratory research building in early 2009, and architectural plans are underway for a major new cancer hospital.

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