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The Latest In Cancer Research And Treatment In San Diego

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

Pictured is Lori Wilson, a breast cancer patient who is featured in the KPBS television series "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies."

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The first part of a documentary based on the book "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies" will air Monday on KPBS television.

The three-part series, produced by Ken Burns, traces the history of cancer treatment and research up to the present day. It's a story that San Diego doctors and scientists are taking part in every day.

Cancer in all its forms is still the second leading cause of death in the U.S. — claiming more than half a million American lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, director of the Center for Personalized Therapy at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, said the television series is important as a way of showing how cancer treatment has changed over the years.

“Cancer treatment has changed a lot, and it’s in the process of changing even more and very quickly,” Kurzrock told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. “Historically, we lumped patients together. Now what we’re trying to do is understand each patient’s tumor.”

"Cancer: The Emperor Of All Maladies"

When: 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Where: KPBS television

For more information, go to

She said modern-day treatments allow doctors to offer precise and personalized care.

Dr. Marin Xavier, a hematologist and oncologist at Scripps Clinic in Hillcrest, said advancements in cancer treatment are “moving faster than we had ever imagined,” but a lack of data makes it challenging for doctors to know how effective new treatments are.

“That’s particularly why we’re so challenged,” Xavier said. “We just don’t have enough data to support the routine practice.”

Still, the challenges and advances in cancer treatment make up an important story to share, she said.

“It touches everybody in some way or another,” Xavier said. “It really is a wonderful tale of why we do what we do.”

The Latest In Cancer Research And Treatment In San Diego

The first part of a documentary based on the book "The Emperor of All Maladies" will air Monday on KPBS television. The series traces the history of cancer treatment and research.


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