Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Kavita Y. Sarin, MD, PhD

Basal cell cancer (BCC) is the most common cancer in the United States with 2 million cases annually resulting in $5 billion in societal cost. Although the majority of BCCs are small and surgically accessible, some individuals develop frequent recurrences of BCC and suffer from severe disability related to surgery and decreased quality of life. Dr. Sarin will focus on a group of 100 patients who develop extreme numbers of this skin cancer, in order to identify the genetic mechanisms that contribute to cancer susceptibility. While most BCCs are thought to develop from DNA damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, a patient’s genetics also play a critical role in disease progression. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to cancer susceptibility will help identify at-risk individuals, so they can be monitored for earlier diagnosis and prevention. She also aims to develop new non-surgical therapies for these patients. Dr. Sarin works under the mentorship of Jean Y. Tang, MD, PhD, at Stanford University, Stanford.

Project title: "Genetic contributions and novel therapies for individuals with frequent basal cell cancer"
Institution: Stanford University
Award Program: Clinical Investigator
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Jean Y. Tang, MD, PhD, and Anthony E. Oro, MD, PhD
Cancer Type: Skin
Research Area: Cancer Genetics