Due to the expected high attendance on Tuesday, July 5, stroller parking will be required before entering the building. Fleet staff members will be available for assistance.
   We’re Open Today
10:00am to 5:00pm

Cornering Cancer—Research and the Power to Cure

Exploring cancer research and treatments with researchers from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, local clinicians and patient advocates

Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. For 2019, the American Cancer Society predicts there will be over 1.7 million new cases of cancer in the U.S. alone.

New research has led to prevention, treatment and renewed hopes for patients living with cancer; but what does it take to research cancer, discover and implement new therapies? New findings are being published on a regular basis, but clinicians and patients alike struggle to keep up with all the information. How can patients be their own advocates to get the best treatments possible and understand the latest research breakthroughs for various cancers?

Join us as we discuss these and other questions surrounding five different cancers with researchers from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, as well as local clinicians, and patient advocates.

The events will take place on select Sundays from August through December at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. Times can vary for each event. Please check times for each of the events below.

Tickets for each event are $10 online and $11 at the door (subject to availability). Seating is limited and we encourage purchasing tickets in advance.


Make it a complete night in Balboa Park by also enjoying a delicious meal at the Prado right after the event.  The Prado Restaurant is generously supporting these events by offering a two-course dinner from their Centennial Theatre Menu priced at $31.95 per person with an additional 10% discount off your meal and a surprise taste when you show your Fleet tickets to the server upon seating. They’ll even give you a to-go coffee to enjoy on your walk from the Prado to the Fleet. To make a dinner reservation, please call 619-557-9441. See the menu below.


August 18, 2019, 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Personalizing Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. Immunotherapy—a cancer treatment that uses one’s immune system to fight the disease—is the newest approach to treating lung cancer.  It has extended the life of many patients with the disease, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and we don’t know why.  To help doctors better predict if a treatment will work in a certain person, researchers are studying the number and types of genetic mutations that drive the formation and growth of lung tumors. For this session, we will discuss the different types of lung cancer, how they are treated, and new advances on the horizon that could lead to more effective, personalized treatment of lung cancer.

Dr. Garth Powis, Researcher at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Dr. Hatim Husain, Clinician at UC San Diego
Patient / Patient Advocate to be announced


September 15, 2019, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Beyond Chemotherapy—How Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia has Finally Evolved

For over 30 years, the standard treatment for AML was a chemotherapy regimen called 7+3. Trial after trial of different chemotherapy combinations failed to improve outcomes. Now, in the last two years, nearly a dozen new drugs have been approved or are close to approval–most of which hit completely novel targets in a variety of different ways. This talk will cover what AML is and how our understanding of the disease at the molecular level has finally led to better, safer treatments available to more patients than ever before. The talk will also introduce some basic concepts of cancer biology which have been first learned in AML, but can also be extended to other cancers.

Dr. Peter Adams, Researcher at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Dr. Rafael Bejar, Clinician at UC San Diego
Patient / Patient Advocate to be announced


October 20, 2019, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Stopping Breast Cancer Dead in its Tracks

Living with breast cancer is now common but women with metastatic breast cancer still frequently die of it. Metastasis means that cancer cells have found a way to move around the body and lodge in important organs like the brain and the bone. By analyzing data directly from patient tumors, SBP scientists have found that defects in one of the most fundamental processes in the body, damage repair, may provide cancer cells the means to begin moving. We will learn ways in which SBP scientists and their collaborating clinicians are using unconventional molecules to stop this process in its tracks.

Dr. Svasti Haricharan, Researcher at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Dr. Rebecca Shatsky, Clinician at UC San Diego
Dr. Ruth Claire Black, Patient Advocate


November 17, 2019, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Pancreatic Cancer: How to Starve a Tumor—New Insights Into Tumor Metabolism

Pancreatic cancer is deadly. Less than 10 percent of people with this cancer remain alive five years later. New studies have linked military service to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, perhaps due to exposure to herbicides and other toxic chemicals. Desperate for nutrients, rapidly growing pancreatic tumors resort to scavenging “fuel” through an alternative supply route, called macropinocytosis. Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Institute scientists are hopeful that blocking this process, often described as “cellular drinking,” could lead to tumor-starving drugs.

Dr. Cosimo Commisso, Researcher at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Dr. Darren Sigal, Clinician at Scripps Health
Patient / Patient Advocate: Russell Gold, Advocacy Chair for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, San Diego Affiliate


December 8, 2019, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Personalizing Medicine for Pediatric Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer-related death in children. Although aggressive therapies have improved outcomes for children with brain tumors, many patients still die of these diseases, and those who survive suffer severe long-term side effects from the treatment. More effective and less toxic therapies are urgently needed. Through an exciting collaboration between SBP and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, we are isolating tumor cells from pediatric brain tumor patients and testing their responses to hundreds of drugs, to identify the drugs that are most effective at killing a given patient’s tumor cells. By using the most effective therapies for each patient’s tumor, we hope to reduce unnecessary toxicity and increase the chances of curing patients with these devastating diseases.   

Dr. Robert Wechsler-Reya, Researcher at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Dr. John Crawford, Clinician at Rady Children's Hospital—San Diego
Patient / Patient Advocates: Tony and Lynne Selinka


This special event series is proudly supported by


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