The National Cancer Institute has upgraded the center's status to comprehensive based on its leading-edge treatments.
At the announcement Wednesday, the hospital asked some current patients to share the stage. One was Rollie Swingle of Elk Grove. He remembers the day his doctor diagnosed him with stage four prostate cancer.
SWINGLE: "I had lesions on my spine, my ribs, and my pelvis. He basically said, 'Your life expectancy is quite short, unless you are willing to get involved with research and clinical trials.' That was eight years ago, and we're still counting."
Doctors at the center say their ability to predict the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments and their use of tiny particles to kill cancer cells while avoiding healthy ones contributed to the new designation.
UC Davis is the 41st cancer center designated comprehensive by the National Cancer Institute.