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    New Program Expands Cancer, Pathology, Dermatology Services

    For Immediate Release 
    Contact: Kevin McCormack, Media Relations Manager
    (415) 600‐7484 or pager (415) 232‐6463  

    San Francisco, CA - November 10, 2009

    Three world-renowned specialists are joining the Physician Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center (PFCPMC) to create a unique new Melanoma Program.
    Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, M.D., Richard Sagebiel, M.D., and Stanley Leong, M.D., M.S., FACS, come to PFCPMC from UCSF, bringing with them decades of experience in treating the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
    “These are some of the world’s best and brightest melanoma experts, and their addition expands our team’s cancer care programs,” says Morris Flaum, M.D., MBA, chief executive officer of PFCPMC. “We are delighted that they have brought their expertise to the Physician Foundation and that individuals throughout Northern California and beyond can have access to the latest in melanoma care.”
    The Physician Foundation’s new team will be working with experts in melanoma who are already at California Pacific: Mark Singer, M.D., a head and neck surgeon who was associated with UCSF’s Melanoma Clinic before he came to PFCPMC, and David Minor, M.D., associate director of the Melanoma Program in charge of melanoma medical oncology.
    The Melanoma Program, which is based at the Pacific Campus of CPMC, addresses all stages of melanoma, from diagnosis of early lesions to therapy for late-stage disease. The Foundation’s new specialists are skilled in providing care to both control and prevent skin cancers, as well as to design new treatments for high-risk skin malignancies. These high-risk malignancies include melanoma, basal and squamous cell cancer, and skin lymphomas including mycosis fungoides, a rare form of T-cell lymphoma of the skin.

    Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Most skin cancers are basal cell or squamous cell cancer, which are easily treated and seldom fatal. Melanoma in contrast accounts for only about 5 percent of all diagnosed skin cancers but for 75 percent of skin cancer deaths. If detected early, melanoma can almost always be cured, but when melanoma is not detected early it is much more likely to spread and be fatal.

    "We are excited to be able to offer state-of-the-art melanoma treatments in an integrated and coordinated fashion at CPMC," says Dr. Kashani-Sabet. "This new program will give us an enhanced ability to deliver high-quality care of patients with melanoma in a multi-disciplinary setting, and to perform translational research to identify novel marks of melanoma progression, and test new treatments for advanced melanoma and cutaneous lymphoma."
    Biographies of PFCPMC doctors who oversee the Melanoma Program include:

    Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, M.D., is a skin cancer expert specializing in melanoma and cutaneous lymphomas who directs California Pacific Medical Center’s Melanoma Program. He has served as professor of dermatology at UCSF and was formerly the director of UCSF’s Melanoma Clinic. Dr. Kashani‐Sabet’s research focuses on the prognostic approach to patients with melanoma and cutaneous lymphoma, and developing gene therapies for patients with melanoma —areas in which he has published extensively. Dr. Kashani-Sabet is a member of numerous professional societies and serves on the editorial board of the journal Cancer Gene Therapy. He received his medical degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed a post‐doctoral fellowship in cutaneous oncology at UCSF.

    Richard Sagebiel, M.D., is a pathologist in dermatology and Associate Director of the Melanoma Program in charge of melanoma pathology. He examines tissue from biopsies to determine whether melanoma is diagnosed and if so, its type and prognostic factors. Dr. Sagebiel previously served as co-director of UCSF's Melanoma Clinic, a program which he helped establish in 1971. He currently serves as professor of dermatology at UCSF. Dr. Sagebiel received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also did a research fellowship at the Chester Beatty Research Institute in London. Dr. Sagebiel has published many articles regarding moles and melanoma, wh ich has been his interest and subspecialty for more than 30 years.

    Stanley Leong, M.D., M.S., FACS, is chief of cutaneous oncology at California Pacific Medical Center, and has served as professor of surgery at UCSF. He received his M.D. and M.S. from Tulane University School of Medicine and Public Health, respectively. Dr. Leong specializes in surgical oncology and melanoma surgery. He also serves as Associate Director of California Pacific's Melanoma Program in charge of melanoma surgical oncology. Dr. Leong completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, followed by positions at Arizona School of Medicine and the Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Leong joined UCSF as Associate Professor of Surgery in 1991 and was promoted to Professor of Surgery in 1997. Most recently, Dr. Leong served as director of the sentinel lymph node program at UCSF. Dr. Leong is a member of numerous professional societies and serves on the editorial board of World Journal of Surgery. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles, dozens of chapters and 12 books. Dr. Leong currently performs research in cancer metastasis, sentinel node biology and cancer immunology. 

    California Pacific Medical Center. Beyond Medicine. At San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, we believe in the power of medicine. We research the most up-to-date treatments, hire the most qualified individuals and practice the most modern, innovative medicine available. We deliver the highest quality expert care, with kindness and compassion, in acute, post-acute and outpatient services, as well as preventive and complementary medicine. But we also believe that medicine alone is only part of the solution. That’s why we look intently at each individual case and treat the whole person, not just the illness. It’s why we go beyond medical care and provide our patients with things like disease counseling, family support and wellness treatments. As one of California’s latest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers, and a Sutter Health affiliate, we are able to reach deep into our community to provide education, screening and financial support in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Medicine can transform a body. Going beyond medicine can transform a life.
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