A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Helford Clinical Research Hospital

City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital
City of Hope’s Helford Clinical Research Hospital embodies our mission to bring new treatments to people battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This state-of-the-art facility provides patients the highest level of attention and comfort, while enhancing collaboration between physicians, supportive caregivers and clinical researchers.
State-of-the-Art Technology
Helford Hospital incorporates the latest medical and communications technologies. Surgical suites include sophisticated equipment, such as robotic laparoscopic instrumentation. Advanced information and audio/video systems allow surgeons, nurses, and other caregivers to more effectively collaborate during procedures — even between remote locations. The facility’s information system combines modern diagnostic, radiology and imaging tools in a digital, connected environment that provides “paperless” efficiencies, when they are appropriate.
Compassionate, Patient-Focused Environment
Helford Hospital combines advanced treatment for patients in an environment that comforts and nurtures. Expansive windows in spacious patient rooms and corridors fill the building with natural light. Panoramic views of the San Gabriel Mountains and City of Hope’s lush gardens open the world to patients who may feel isolated during their treatment. Discreet patient transportation corridors protect patient privacy and minimize disturbances from visitors and staff.
Superior Clinical Care
Designed specifically to serve cancer patients and enable physicians and caregivers to provide the most attentive, effective care, the hospital offers one of the largest units in the United States for performinghematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), including stem cell and bone marrow transplantation (BMT).
Bringing Groundbreaking Research to Patients
Last year, City of Hope conducted more than 300 studies enrolling almost 5,000 patients. To most effectively facilitate these trials, Helford Hospital enables close collaboration between clinical caregivers and research teams. Such partnerships allow physicians to bring new and emerging therapies to patients without delay.
Highest Level of Patient Safety
Helford Hospital incorporates rigorous anti-infection measures, such as infection control alcoves outside each patient room, an air filtration system that far exceeds federal standards and even antimicrobial coating on the ductwork – designed to provide the safest environment for patients. All patient rooms have advanced monitoring and reporting systems for comprehensive patient supervision. The hospital’s patient-focused floor plan, which positions patient rooms no more than 13 feet from nurse stations, ensures that caregivers can continually monitor and rapidly respond to patients.

The Patient Experience

Helford Clinical Research Hospital was designed to meet both our patients’ medical and human needs, providing the foremost in cancer treatment in an environment of warmth, openness and comfort.
Patient Rooms
Designed to create a soothing, positive environment, Helford Hospital incorporates glass, wood tones, and warm colors in patient rooms and public areas. Natural light is abundant throughout, reducing the sense of seclusion and creating a more natural, healing atmosphere.
All patient rooms have 12-foot-tall windows, many with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Valley and Mountains. Picture windows that frame each corridor overlook City of Hope’s beautiful gardens.
Special Considerations for Family and Loved Ones
Because City of Hope believes that the support of families and loved ones is critical to a patient’s ability to fight disease, patient rooms and floors include ample accommodations for guests. Patient rooms are equipped with a comfortable sleeper chair for overnight visitors and have Internet access for keeping in touch. All patient floors also have family lounges that provide loved ones with more comforts of home and the ability to interact more with patients during their treatment, without having to leave the premises for meals or wait in public lobbies.
The hospital’s Pediatric Family Center provides special accommodations for pediatric and adolescent patients, including a playroom, a teen room, a family lounge with kitchenette and a library.
Helford Hospital’s nondenominational chapel and meditation room offer patients and their families a peaceful retreat for prayer and spiritual reflection.
On the ground floor, the Helford Hospital gift shop offers personal items, including toiletries, pajamas, and robes, which can make an overnight stay more comfortable for family members. A bistro offers beverages and snacks in a relaxed, indoor/outdoor setting and vending machines for after-hours visitors.
Utmost Privacy
All of Helford Hospital’s patient rooms are private with adjoining private bathrooms. Internal windows have shaded privacy bands that still allow for clear sightlines between patients and nurses. Window coverings can be lowered when more privacy is desired. Patients move about the facility by way of private, quiet transportation corridors shared only with hospital staff, a thoughtful design touch that eliminates the need to transport patients through areas where other people might be present.
Designed for a Patient’s Priority: Quiet
Separate, internal areas house all support services, from ice machines to supply and utility rooms, reducing disturbance to patients and instead providing a peaceful, quiet environment. Even the furnishings and fabrics on patient floors were selected with noise reduction in mind.
One Room Throughout the Continuum of Care
Each of the hospital’s patient rooms can accommodate patients battling the most serious diseases. Eighteen rooms support intensive care unit (ICU) patients and the rest are equipped at a level far exceeding standard hospital rooms, with the ability to accommodate all but the most critical patients. As a result, patients can often stay in one room throughout their treatment, eliminating the need for unsettling moves.
City of Hope scientists continuously strive to discover new, more effective ways to diagnose, treat and, ultimately, prevent cancer. Clinical trials are an integral step in this process.After rigorous laboratory research has been completed and shows promise, a clinical trial may be initiated. Conducted under meticulous controls, trials enable researchers to learn more about new procedures and treatments, in an effort to improve outcomes for patients and advance medical science.
Designed with great care to answer specific research questions while ensuring the safety of participants, clinical trials allow patients access to new drugs and treatments before they are widely available. Because all factors in clinical trials must be controlled and recorded for the trials to be successful, patients who participate receive exceptional attention and care.
To view a searchable list of clinical trials currently under way at City of Hope, visit Clinical Trials On-Line .
Commited to Safety
Research is integral to who we are and to the level of care we provide.  Helford Clinical Research Hospital enables us to deliver the safest, most advanced patient care possible, while forging new breakthroughs in biomedical research.

Supporting Helford Hospital

As one of the most advanced treatment facilities in the country, Helford Clinical Research Hospital embodies what City of Hope is known for: a remarkable combination of innovative research, compassionate patient care and dedicated supporters. Helford Hospital was championed by longtime City of Hope philanthropists Irwin and Betty Helford, and the opportunity for donors to make a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer did not end with the opening of the hospital’s doors.

Our reputation for scientific excellence – for fundamentally advancing the world’s understanding of cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases – stems from our determination to aggressively pursue lines of inquiry outside traditional paradigms. As an independent biomedical, treatment and education center, we have the infrastructure and collaborative energy to move from bold, innovative concept to powerful new treatment swiftly. Helford Hospital continues to allow us to speed the process of bringing new treatments to others across the country battling life-threatening illnesses.This important work depends on the continued generosity of our supporters.
Become a part of this life-saving, life-changing work. Contact our Gift Planning Department at 800-232-3314 for more information.

Enhanced Clinical Care

Helford Clinical Research Hospital offers one of the most advanced patient care environments in the world, integrating inpatient facilities, state-of-the-art imaging and laboratory services and rigorous safety measures.
In the hospital’s integrated clinical practice model, a patient’s caregivers - including physicians, surgeons, nurses, and clinical pharmacists - act as a team during the entire course of treatment. Patients maintain personal relationships with everyone involved in their care, from their first visit to City of Hope throughout their treatment and beyond. The facility’s design and equipment enable the medical team to collaborate more effectively, resulting in the greatest opportunity for successful treatment.
Built Expressly for Seriously Ill and Immune-Compromised Patients
Every aspect of Helford Hospital encompasses the goal of better serving patients battling cancer. The hospital’s capacity is among the largest in the United States for lifesaving hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) , including bone marrow and stem cell transplantation (BMT), with an entire two floors dedicated to the needs of these patients.
Many City of Hope patients who undergo these treatments and others, including radiology and chemotherapy experience reduced white blood cell counts. Extensive measures protect their more vulnerable immune systems.
Rigorous anti-infection air control measures
Helford Hospital’s air pressure rooms prevent outside air from reaching patients without first passing through advanced air filtration systems. These rooms achieve 99.99 percent HEPA filtration, far exceeding the federal standard for isolation rooms and keeping germs and bacteria away from patient environments. HEPA filtration also is used throughout patient floors, providing even greater anti-infection protection while allowing patients freedom of movement outside their rooms.
Infection control alcoves
Located outside each patient room, these alcoves place hand-washing stations, gowns, gloves, and other supplies as close to patients as possible. Clinicians can wash their hands and access sterile equipment immediately before seeing patients, a primary method of minimizing the spread of germs.
Technically Advanced Surgical Suites
Helford Hospital’s 600-square-foot state-of-the-art surgical suites accommodate technologically sophisticated equipment with ample space for an extensive surgical team. The suites support inter-operative ultrasound, video-assisted surgery and new energy sources for laser surgery. Lights, anesthesia, and other equipment suspend from the ceiling, saving space and giving surgeons and attending staff greater flexibility. The suites are large enough to accommodate additional emerging surgical technologies.
Robotic technology
Continuing our long-standing commitment to pioneering cancer research and treatments, City of Hope now leads the way in robotic-assisted cancer surgeries. These minimally-invasive surgeries offer benefits to patients and doctors that traditional surgery and regular laparoscopic surgery cannot.
Lighting Details
Special surgical lights maximize both efficiency and comfort. These lights are designed to remain cool while burning very bright and provide plenty of light on the subject, even in the smallest of spaces.
Real-time Consultation
Integrated with City of Hope’s communications network, the audio-visual system in our surgical suites allows surgeons to confer with consulting surgeons, pathologists, and radiologists outside the operating room — even elsewhere around the globe. With video cameras and real-time audio/video streaming, surgical suites serve as virtual classrooms that allow off-site students and observers to view procedures as they are being performed.
PACS digital radiology services
Radiology at Helford Hospital is completely filmless, using a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). PACS is available on computers strategically located throughout the hospital, allowing physicians to easily access complex X-rays, MRIs, and other test results and facilitating closer contact between the clinic and the laboratory. PACS also allows clinicians to rapidly retrieve sequential studies and gauge a patient’s progress over time.
Additional Surgical Facilities
Helford Hospital’s surgical facilities also include two endoscopy operating rooms for routine procedures and screenings, such as colonoscopies; seven Level-1 recovery rooms for patients needing post-operative critical care; and 21 Level-2 recovery rooms for standard outpatient surgical procedures.
Digital Information Backbone
Helford Hospital’s advanced information “backbone,” which enables “paperless” efficiencies, incorporates fully digital, modern radiology systems and clinical applications. These technologies allow ready access to patient records, lab results and clinical systems from virtually anywhere in the hospital, while ensuring patient privacy is protected. The systems permit greater collaboration among medical staff, scientists, and others – across the City of Hope campus and around the world.
Sophisticated Imaging Tools
Helford Hospital houses the latest, most effective diagnostic equipment, including CAT scanning, MRI with MRI spectroscopy, PET CT scan ning, Gamma Camera diagnostics, and other imaging tools. These technologies help ensure accurate diagnoses and facilitate new nonsurgical interventions, such as image-guided catheter placement to infuse drugs or other agents directly into tumors.
Advanced Patient Monitoring
Patient rooms include sophisticated headwall monitoring and reporting systems, which allow the care team to provide comprehensive supervision. Numerous outlets can support additional equipment and technologies.
Floor Plan Facilitates Close Patient Supervision
A unique floor configuration improves patient observation. In most hospitals, patient rooms are arranged around the perimeter of the floor, with a nurse station at the center. At Helford Hospital, all patient rooms are in the direct line of sight of a nurse station. Large interior windows allow nurses to monitor patients at all times and rapidly respond to their needs.
Advanced Pharmacy Services
Helford Hospital patients often undergo complex treatment, including chemotherapy and clinical trials of emerging therapies. These treatments and protocols demand highly advanced, continually reviewed pharmacy services and rapid delivery of medications.
Satellite Pharmacies for In-depth Pharmacist Involvement
Helford Hospital has a satellite pharmacy on each patient floor, placing clinical pharmacists closer to the patients they serve. These important members of the patient care team offer advice and expertise that extends far beyond dispensing medications, particularly when the treatment plan includes chemotherapy, investigational drugs or biological therapies. Clinical pharmacists work closely with patients throughout the course of their treatment and carefully manage progress, working in partnership with physicians on drug therapies, dosages, adjustments, sensitivities, and interactions.
Dosage Controls
Helford Hospital uses “smart” intravenous pumps with Guardrails® that act as virtual parameters, ensuring that medication is delivered in the appropriate dosage.
As a Comprehensive Cancer Center – the highest designation given by the National Cancer Institute – we are widely regarded as a leader in cancer prevention and treatment.

Refer a Patient
Physicians can choose a number of options to refer a patient:

  • Call 800-826-HOPE (4673) to speak with a patient referral specialist.
  • Fax the patient face sheet to 626-301-8432
  • Complete an online callback request form
Cancer Prevention
To make an appointment for yourself, a family member or a friend, please complete and submit our Become a Patient Request Form, or call City of Hope at
800-826-HOPE (4673).
  • Counter-intuitive though it might seem, a prostate cancer diagnosis shouldn’t always lead to immediate prostate cancer treatment. Although prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer killer of men, behind lung cancer, and causes more than 29,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, in many cases, the tumors are...
  • Radiology is one of the cornerstones of any hospital. It is a key diagnostic branch of medicine essential for the initial diagnosis of many diseases and has an important role in monitoring a patient’s treatment and predicting outcome. Radiology is the specialty considered to be both the “eyes” and “ears” of med...
  • Donating blood and platelets saves lives. We all know this. Yet every summer, potential blood donors become distracted by vacations and schedule changes. As a result, blood donations fall dramatically across the nation, leaving hospitals frantically trying to bring in much-needed blood for their patients. Earli...
  • To be a great cancer hospital, you need a great oncology program. Just ask City of Hope – and Becker’s Hospital Review. The health care publishing industry stalwart, described as the “leading hospital magazine for hospital business news and analysis for hospital and health system executives,” recently selected ...
  • Diagnostic errors are far from uncommon. In fact, a recent study found that they affect about 12 million people, or 1 in 20 patients,  in the U.S. each year. With cancer, those errors in diagnosis can have a profound impact. A missed or delayed diagnosis can make the disease that much harder to treat, as the Ag...
  • Eleven years ago, lymphoma patient Christine Pechera began the long road toward a cancer-free life. She had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and told by doctors elsewhere that her lifespan likely would be measured in months, not years. Refusing to give up, she came to City of Hope for a second opinion. ...
  • Brain surgery is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage, as well as curiosity and compassion. The truly great surgeons also have a desire to find new, and better ways, of healing the brain. Enter Behnam Badie, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at City of Hope. Now a pioneer in brain tumor treatment, Badie enter...
  • Elizabeth Budde, M.D., Ph.D., wants to encourage infighting. She aims to turn the immune system on itself — to the benefit of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. AML arises when abnormal white blood cells grow out of control, amassing in the bone marrow and interfering with normal blood cell developme...
  • Six, to date; more soon. Outpatient bone marrow transplants, that is. Finding new ways to deliver quality care with the greatest benefit is a priority for a patient-centered institution like City of Hope. For example, not every bone marrow transplant patient needs to check into the hospital for treatment. In fa...
  • The best measure of success in the fight against cancer is in lives saved and families intact, in extra days made special simply because they exist. Yuman Fong, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery at City of Hope, understands what precedes that special awareness. When cancer strikes, one minute a person ma...
  • In cancer, expertise matters. So do survival rates, patient safety, patient services and many other factors. City of Hope understands this, as does U.S.News & World Report. The magazine’s 2014-2015 list of best hospitals for cancer once again includes City of Hope, ranking the institution 12 out of 900 elig...
  • At 29, Kommah McDowell was a successful young professional engaged to be married to her best friend. She worked in the financial services sector and kick-boxed to keep in shape and to relax. Then came the diagnosis of triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and very aggressive form of breast cancer. ...
  • The well-known drug tamoxifen might not always be the best choice for premenopausal women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer and face a heightened risk of recurrence. A new study suggests that the aromatase inhibitor exemestane, or Aromasin, works slightly better than tamoxifen in preventing cancer ...
  • At age 44, Bridget Hanchette, a mother of three from La Crosse, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of malignant brain tumor. The cancer grows and spreads quickly, making it difficult to treat. Most patients with this diagnosis are not given much hope, but Hanchette’s i...
  • Survival rates for childhood cancer have improved tremendously over the past few decades, but postcancer care hasn’t always kept up. More children than ever are now coping with long-term complications and side effects caused by their disease and treatment — one of those being learning difficulties. A new ...