Spindrift June 1, 2023


Ken DuFour opened. Mike Gertner thanked God for all He has given us, especially with all of the suffering in the world. He also gave thanks for our veterans who sacrificed to improve our lives. David Schapiro led the pledge.


Ken was troubled by our membership’s light attendance at the Field of Honor. He encouraged us to attend the noon ceremony on Memorial Day. George Lesley noted we can click here to view a segment about the Field of Honor that aired on KCAL news.


Cynthia Strasmann introduced Dr. Wade Smith, an oncologist with the City of Hope in Fashion Island specializing in breast cancer. He is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, Dr. Wade has been repeatedly honored by the Orange County (OC) Medical Association as a Physician of Excellence.

The City of Hope is one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States. It is investing over $1 billion in OC because OC is the nation’s 6th largest county with a population aging faster than the national average, 20% of whom had been leaving the county for medical care. The City of Hope’s Lennar Foundation Cancer Center in Irvine is OC’s most advanced cancer center. It has access to 600 physicians and more than 1,000 cancer researchers and scientists. In 2025, City of Hope will open OC’s only cancer hospital.

The City of Hope’s focus is eliminating cancer and diabetes. Its mission is to transform the future of health, turn science into practical benefit, and turn hope into reality. It has raised $224 million in philanthropy making it a top 100 charity in dollars raised. Its discoveries have impacted a million people annually. Early in his career, Dr. Wade worked with Dr. Henry Lynch, a cancer specialist who was the first to posit that cancer had a hereditary component. Although initially rejected, Dr. Lynch’s position is now well established. In fighting cancer, Dr. Wade’s priority is on prevention and treatment. Beginning at age 40, women should have annual breast exams. Early detection makes a crucial difference. As to prevention, the aim is to treat the whole person in one location to avoid the hardship on patients and families of traveling to multiple places. Lennar offers services beginning with cancer prevention and including medical, surgical, and radiation oncology, clinical research with phase one to three clinical trials, screenings, diagnostic imaging, and interventional radiology, outpatient surgery, a pharmacy, and more. It also has support services such as wig fitting, behavioral cognitive therapy, spousal and family support, and more. The new cancer hospital will have 160,000 square feet, 73 beds, and inpatient surgery.

Ken DuFour and Dr. Wade Smith

The City of Hope is building a cancer research and clinical care network including its acquisition of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This network is bringing its services closer to home for many, a total of 15,000 patients per year. City of Hope also collaborates with researchers and experts around the world to better conduct its clinical trials and investigational pharmaceutical
work. It develops and manufactures drugs. Dr. Wade offered three things to remember in fighting cancer. One, your first shot is the best shot in fighting cancer. Consider getting a second opinion for your specific cancer in order to establish the best treatment plan. Two, know your health risks; one in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Be vigilant with your screenings. Three, the best way to fight cancer is to prevent it in the first place. Work with genetic and wellness counselors to understand your risks and to adopt healthy habits.

Joe Brown asked if testing is used to identify cancer cells in people. Although this testing exists, Dr. Wade said it’s used for high risk patients and not yet for the general population. Joe also asked about the relevance of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Dr. Wade explained AI is finding a role in diagnostic imaging, breast imaging, and helping to navigate patients. It can fill in gaps for what the human eye might not see. AI also plays a role in cancer cell mutations and drugs. With so many mutations that can be additive, AI can lend a hand where humans fall short.

Jeff Yeargain asked about the effectiveness of immunotherapy (harnessing the power of the body’s immune system to treat cancer). Dr. Wade replied the therapy is successful for some but not all cancer types and it can have side effects. The potential is there, however, so research continues. Jeff asked if losing weight is the best thing to do for diabetes. Dr. Wade agreed this is important, especially for Type 2 to simplify the medical management and perhaps avoid medications.

Gail Demmer asked what insurance City of Hope accepts. Dr. Wade noted most insurances work and happily reported that a contract with CalOptima recently expanded coverage to MediCal patients. Unfortunately, some HMOs can be restrictive.

George Lesley asked if there’s a connection between cancer and diabetes. Dr. Wade said there can be, as diabetics are at risk for other diseases. Also, cancer drugs can impact the heart. Fortunately, with City of Hope’s comprehensive care, there are endocrinologists and cardiologists on site to address diabetic and heart issues, respectively. George wondered where the United States ranks versus other countries in developing cancer cures. Dr. Wade claimed the United States and Europe lead the world in Research and Development, drug development, patient care, etc., although other countries are ahead in certain aspects. Dr. Wade stressed cancer prevention is a global effort.

Richard Swinney asked whether once diagnosed as a diabetic, a person is always one. Dr. Wade said diabetes is a chronic condition requiring care. Luckily, management of the disease has improved with insulin therapy and oral drugs. Richard probed about recurring breast cancer in females. Dr. Wade said reoccurrence happens, sometimes with a vengeance. The treatment intent is to cure. Again, patients must remain on high alert to catch the reoccurrence early to maximize the chance of success.

Leo Fracalosy asked about breast cancer in men. Although the likelihood in men is less than women (men are 1% of cases), men should also be preventative. Both men and women should perform self examinations and report to their doctors any lumps or changes, especially where there’s a family history of breast cancer.
Dr. Wade distributed ear buds to members along with instructions to listen to a City of Hope podcast.



June 1  - Cap Center

June 8  - Karen Yelsey, Chair of Newport Beach

Pres. Ken DuFour

Police Foundation

June 15  -  Business Meeting (members only)

This week we will be at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Lunch will be served at 12:20 pm. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by this Wed 2 PM if you are planning on attending.

Diane Daruty, Editor

Diane Daruty, Editor