A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Research Overview

Research Overview
Research pioneered at City of Hope and its renowned Beckman Research Institute has improved the lives of men, women and children throughout the world.
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. 
  • We are a national leader in translational research, where ideas continuously flow between investigators and clinicians.
  • City of Hope has not one but three on-site manufacturing facilities that enable investigators to manufacture promising new therapies without the high cost and delays encountered by other research centers.
  • Many of our clinical research breakthroughs have transformed the landscape of modern medicine. We helped launch the biotech industry with the development of technologies that led to the first synthetic human insulin and human growth hormone.
  • Our research also made possible the widely used cancer fighting drugs, Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin.
  • City of Hope has more than 200 patents. At any given time, we have more than 30 investigational new drug applications. These numbers are exceptionally large for an organization of City of Hope’s size, reflecting our commitment to innovation and speeding treatments to patients
Discoveries happen at City of Hope because we foster an environment that supports intellectual creativity and freedom – the kind of thinking that enables us to redefine the future of medical research and medicine.

The first of only five Beckman Research Institutes established by funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, we are responsible for fundamentally expanding the world’s understanding of how biology affects diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Our breakthroughs in the areas of recombinant DNA technology, gene therapy and monoclonal antibodies are testaments to the culture of collaboration that inspires and informs our work.  Departments and divisions include:  Cancer Biology, Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research (Division of Molecular Diabetes Research and Division of Developmental and Translational Diabetes and Endocrine Research), Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, Neurosciences, Population Sciences (Division of Cancer Etiology, Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, Division of Outcomes Research, Center for Cancer Survivorship, Division of Nursing Research and Education), Radiation Biology, Virology (Translational Vaccine Research).

City of Hope is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute to institutions that lead the way in cancer research, treatment, prevention and education. Our five Cancer Center Research Programs run the gamut from basic and translational studies, which begin in our Molecular Oncology (MONC) and Developmental Cancer Therapeutics (DCT) Programs, to Phase I and II clinical protocols in all three clinical programs -  DCT, Cancer Immunotherapeutics (CI), and Hematologic Malignancies (HM) - and follow-up studies in survivorship and symptom management in the Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS).
Clinical Research

From clinical trials of drugs and treatments, to studies on cancer survivorship, our multidisciplinary teams of basic, clinical and population science investigators collaborate on improving the lives of patients throughout the world.
  • Clinical Trials - Clinical trials, research studies that involve volunteer patients, are a crucial component to developing new, more effective treatments that save lives. Many of today’s standard therapies are based on the results of previous trials, some of which were initiated at City of Hope.
  • Phase I Clinical Trials Program - City of Hope investigates new and experimental cancer medicines, novel treatment combinations and other therapeutic methods through its Phase I Clinical Trials Program. The program offers patients access to some of the most advanced treatments in their earliest stages of development.
  • Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism - From leading collaborative research programs in islet transplantation, engineering and immunology to developing therapies that control complications, this division is recognized nationwide for its innovative approaches to diabetes care.
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Leukemia Research - A pioneer in bone marrow transplantation, this division is part of one of the largest, most successful bone marrow and stem cell transplantation programs of its kind in the world and continues to refine the science of transplantation. The focus of the division is to improve the understanding of leukemia stem cells in order to develop cures for leukemia and other hematologic malignancies.
  • Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research - The Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research focuses on the treatment and prevention of solid tumors.
  • Pathology - Recognized worldwide for its diagnostic excellence, the Department of Pathology is led by renowned investigators and equipped with the most advanced technologies available.
  • Radiation Oncology - The Department of Radiation Oncology provides advanced treatments such as a TomoTherapy in a safe and compassionate environment and develops new ways to administer radiation more effectively and with fewer side effects.

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core research facilities with colleagues here and around the world. We provide access to specialized equipment, laboratories, scientific expertise and resources such as the Graff Medical and Scientific Library.

The Sylvia R. and Isador A. Deutch Center for Applied Technology Development offers broad expertise in technology transfer and licensing, biologics manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory affairs.

City of Hope offers a number of exciting fellowships and residencies in laboratory research, administration, clinical applications and other areas.

Medical and Research Events

City of Hope's Medical and Research Calendar is easy to navigate - just move your cursor over or click a date or event description. You can also add the events to your personal calendar, email event information to yourself or others, set up email and cell phone text message reminders on events and other event actions. Additionally, you can subscribe to this calendar in different ways including RSS and Atom Feeds and weekly emails.


Research News and Videos

What makes City of Hope research different? Collaboration(w/VIDEO)

What makes City of Hope research different? Collaboration (w/VIDEO)

Regardless of their institution, all cancer researchers want one thing – to find a cure for cancer. But City of Hope researchers have some advantages in this quest. The advantages start with a culture...

May 8, 2014

‘Why?’ With cancer, no good answers – but a determination tofind them

‘Why?’ With cancer, no good answers – but a determination to find them

“Why?” The question is a natural one for people diagnosed with cancer. “Why did this cancer develop?” “What caused it?” “How did it start?” The questions send people searching for possible links – to ...

May 5, 2014

Meet our doctors: Ravi Bhatia on better survival for leukemiapatients

Meet our doctors: Ravi Bhatia on better survival for leukemia patients

Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. More than 156,000 new cases in the U.S. are expected this year alone, with more than 52,000 of those diagnosed as leukemias. Causes of the...

May 3, 2014

Research Videos
Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.

Research Shared Services

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core facilities with colleagues here and around the world.

Technology & Licensing
The Center for Applied Technology Development offers broad expertise in
technology transfer and licensing, biologics manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory affairs.

City of Hope offers a number of exciting fellowships and residencies in laboratory research, administration, clinical applications and other areas.
  • Nausea is the one of the most well-known, and dreaded, side effects of cancer treatment — and with good reason. Beyond the quality-of-life issues that it causes, severe nausea can prevent patients from receiving enough nutrients and calories at a time when they need every edge they can get. A few simple actions...
  • With Labor Day just around the corner, summer is on its way out. But just because summertime is ending doesn’t mean we can skip sunscreen. Protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is needed all year round. Exposure to UV radiation — whether from the sun or from artificial sources such as sunlamps used i...
  • Undergoing reconstructive surgery may seem like a forgone conclusion for survivors of breast cancer, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. A new study has found that most breast cancer survivors who undergo a mastectomy decide against surgical reconstruction of their breasts. The reasons for such a deci...
  • Nearly four decades ago, City of Hope began its bone marrow transplant program. Its first transplant reunion celebration was a single patient and his donor, also his brother. This year, City of Hope welcomed hundreds of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to the annual bone marrow transplant/HCT reun...
  • The burgeoning type 2 diabetes epidemic casts a pall over the health of America’s public. New research now shows the looming threat is getting worse. Much worse. A diabetes trends study published earlier this month in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology by researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Contro...
  • An aspirin a day might help keep breast cancer away for some breast cancer survivors, a new study suggests. Obese women who have had breast cancer could cut their risk of a recurrence in half if they regularly take aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDs, report researchers from the...
  • Christine Crews isn’t only a fitness enthusiast, she’s also a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Being active defines her life. So when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer at age 30, she decided she absolutely couldn’t let the disease interfere with that lifestyle. And it didn’t. For t...
  • Cancer treatment and the cancer itself can cause changes in your sense of taste or smell. These side effects typically subside after treatment ends, but there are ways to help alleviate those bitter and metallic tastes in your mouth. Here are tips from the National Cancer Institute to help keeps tastes and food...
  • Immunotherapy — using one’s immune system to treat a disease — has been long lauded as the “magic bullet” of cancer treatments, one that can be more effective than the conventional therapies of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. One specific type of immunotherapy, called adoptive T cell thera...
  • Today, when cancer spreads from its original site to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis, patients face an uphill battle. Treatments are poorly effective, and cures are nearly impossible. Further, incidence rates for these types of cancers are increasing – particularly for cancers that have s...
  • Thanks to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), high school students across the state gained valuable hands-on experience with stem cell research this summer. City of Hope hosted eight of those students. As part of the CIRM Creativity Awards program, the young scholars worked full time as m...
  • Radiation therapy can help cure many children facing Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. When the radiation is delivered to a girl’s chest, however, it can lead to a marked increase in breast cancer risk later in life. A recent multi-institutional study that included City of Hope’s Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., t...
  • A patient diagnosed with cancer – especially a rare, advanced or hard-to-treat cancer – needs specialized care from exceptionally skilled and highly trained experts. That kind of care saves lives, improves quality of life and keeps families whole. That kind of care is best found at comprehensive cancer centers ...
  • Appetite loss may be common during cancer treatment, lasting throughout your therapy or only occasionally, but it can be managed. Below are tips from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that can help you keep your weight up and, in doing so, keep your body well-nourished. (See the end of this article for a deli...
  • Myelodysplasia, sometimes referred to as myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, is a rare group of blood disorders caused by disrupted development of blood cells within the bone marrow, resulting in a decreased number of healthy blood cells. People diagnosed with the condition, considered a precancer, may be at great...