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Philanthropists Ignite the Fight Against Cancer at SPARK Gala April 16

35th annual Moores Cancer Center gala will support cancer care services at UC San Diego Health

Image: The Moores Cancer Center gala decor

The Moores Cancer Center gala supports the greatest needs in clinical care and research programs, translational and personalized cancer medicine, and patient and family support initiatives. Photo by Melissa Jacobs

In California alone, nearly 175,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. To rally the San Diego region in the fight against cancer, the University of California San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center will host its annual SPARK Gala on Saturday, April 16 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The evening will include a three-course dinner with wine pairings, a live luxury auction and dancing. All proceeds will benefit Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, supporting the greatest needs in clinical care and research programs, translational and personalized cancer medicine, and patient and family support initiatives.

“UC San Diego is committed to providing world-class health care for our patients and enriching human life,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Support from the annual SPARK Gala will help us translate leading-edge research into next-generation therapies for patients in our community and around the globe.”

The 35th annual Moores Cancer Center gala will bring together community members, physicians and cancer survivors to celebrate the progress made in cancer care, while raising funds to advance new research discoveries and improve patient services.

Moores Cancer Center is one of just 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country—and the only one in the San Diego region. In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranks UC San Diego’s cancer services among the top 25 in the nation.

Moores Cancer Center’s immunotherapy program remains at the forefront of developing treatments using a patient’s immune system to recognize and attack the cancer within. Last year’s SPARK Gala helped fund the cell processing center, allowing researchers and clinicians to develop cell-based therapies for cancer that spare healthy tissue.

“The cell-therapy team at UC San Diego Health will be able to identify a person’s specific T-cells that have responded to his or her cancer, extract those cells from the tumor, expand them in the cell processing center and then reinfuse only the strongest cancer-fighting cells back into the body to attack cancer more aggressively,” said Scott M. Lippman, MD, director of Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health. “We anticipate that this will be a revolutionary step forward in cancer immunotherapy. This is being done thanks in part to private support of these innovative therapies.”

SPARK Gala will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception featuring specialty cocktails, followed by dinner, a live auction and dancing. Individual tickets are $600 and sponsorships are available. For details and reservations, visit sparkgala.org or call (858) 534-4289. For more information about Moores Cancer Center, visit cancer.ucsd.edu.


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