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.
  • 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 ...
  • When Sheldon Querido, a retired manufacturer’s representative, was diagnosed with bladder cancer, his doctor told him that he’d need to have his bladder removed – and that he’d have to wear an external urine-collection bag for the rest of his life. “My first response was ‘I donR...
  • To stop smoking, two approaches might be better than one. A new study has found that using the medication varenicline, or Chantix – along with nicotine patches – was more effective than the medicine alone in helping people quit. The study, conducted by Stellanbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, and pub...
  • John Cloer was three months shy of his third birthday in 2004 when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. For the next three and a half years, he received chemotherapy at City of Hope, finally obtaining long-term remission. His parents Bill and Gina, along with John and his younger brother Steve, r...
  • News about the risks or benefits of widespread cancer screening seem to arrive daily – 3D mammography for breast cancer, CT scans for lung cancer, PSA tests for prostate cancer and now pelvic exams for some women’s cancers. Missing in the headlines is a reflection of how cancer detection is evolving. Today’s ca...
  • Adults with sickle cell disease soon may have a new treatment option: bone marrow transplants. Children with sickle cell disease have been treated successfully with transplantation of bone marrow, more officially known as hematopoietic stem cells, from other people. But the procedure has been less successful in...