A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE

Our History

The City of Hope Story
The City of Hope story began in 1913, when a group of volunteers, spurred by compassion to help those afflicted with tuberculosis, established the Jewish Consumptive Relief Association (JCRA) and raised money to start a free, nonsectarian tuberculosis sanatorium.
 
After several fundraisers, the JCRA put a down payment on 10 acres of sun-soaked land in Duarte, where they would establish the Los Angeles Sanatorium a year later. The original sanatorium consisted of two canvas cottages. So was launched a century-long journey that would place City of Hope at the forefront of the nation’s leading medical and research institutions. 
 
By the mid-1940s, thanks to the discovery of antibiotics, tuberculosis was on the decline in the U.S. However, City of Hope rose to the next medical challenge, tackling the catastrophic disease of cancer — and later on, diabetes and HIV/AIDS — while reaffirming its humanitarian vision that “health is a human right.”

In the spirit of that vision, Samuel H. Golter, one of City of Hope’s early leaders, coined the phrase, “There is no profit in curing the body if, in the process, we destroy the soul.” Those words became City of Hope’s credo.
 
Over the decades, research conducted at City of Hope has led to significant advances in modern medicine, including the development of the first synthetic human insulin, human growth hormone and the technology behind the widely used cancer-fighting drugs Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin.
 
Today, City of Hope has been designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation.
 
As we look toward the next 100 years, we continue our mission and commitment to transform the future of medicine. Our researchers, physicians, nurses, educators and staff have made hope a reality for countless patients and their loved ones.
 
And our work is just beginning.

Historical Milestones

1913
The Jewish Consumptive Relief Association was officially incorporated. 10 acres of land were purchased to establish the Los Angeles Sanatorium.
 
1914
The sanatorium officially opens its doors.  During its first year, it admitted 31 patients.

1928
The Jewish Ex-Patients Home, which helps discharged tuberculosis patients with health education, job training and ongoing emotional and spiritual support, merges with the Los Angeles Sanatorium in 1928.

1937
The International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union contributes $45,000 toward the construction of the 64-bed Morris Hillquit Memorial Hospital. The finished building is dedicated in 1938, the sanatorium’s 25th anniversary year. 

1946
With tuberculosis on the wane, Executive Director Samuel L. Golter outlines a plan to transform the sanatorium into a national medical center focused on cancer and other major diseases.

1949
The name "City of Hope", used since 1916, is formally adopted, reflecting the institution's broader ambitions.
 
1952
City of Hope partners with University of California, Los Angeles to establish the Cancer Research Institute on the Duarte campus.
 
1955
The so-called “cobalt bomb,” a radiation therapy machine developed by City of Hope scientists, is put into operation. The cobalt bomb delivered radiation to malignancies deep within the human body.
 
1957
The focus on compassionate care reaches new heights with the opening of Hope Village, which provides on-site housing for patients and their families traveling from across the nation.
 
1965
Executive Director Ben Horowitz unveils a master plan that calls for enlarging patient care, research and medical education facilities. This included expanding research and treatment programs for cancer and other diseases.
 
1976
The Bone Marrow Transplantation program (BMT) accepts its first patients. The BMT program will grow to become one of the largest and most successful transplantation programs in the country.
 
1978
Recombinant DNA techniques pioneered by City of Hope scientists lead to the development of synthetic human insulin (Humulin).
 
1983
The first Beckman Research Institute, a name that would become synonymous with leading-edge research, is established at City of Hope.
 
1983
Scientists at City of Hope discover how to manufacture immune proteins known as antibodies. This breakthrough leads to humanized monoclonal antibodies — and a new generation of "smart" cancer drugs including Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin.

1993
 
1997
The first Food and Drug Administration-approved human trials of a gene therapy for HIV/AIDS begin. This line of research would lead, in 2011, to the first long-term persistence of anti-HIV genes in patients with AIDS-related lymphoma treated through gene therapy.
 
1998
The National Cancer Institute designates City of Hope as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
 
2000
The Center for Biomedicine & Genetics opens, enabling City of Hope to create biologically based treatments for use in clinical trials. In 2012, a facility producing chemically based drugs would open. These centers, and a complementary third facility, quickly translate discoveries into treatments.
 
2001
The National Institutes of Health designates City of Hope as an Islet Cell Resource Center.
 
2003
City of Hope becomes one of the first U.S. medical centers to perform laparoscopic radical prostatectomies to treat prostate cancer.
 
2005
The Helford Clinical Research Hospital opens, replacing Hillquit Hospital. The Helford Hospital maximizes the human side of patient care and significantly increases City of Hope’s capacity for surgical procedures and programs such as the BMT.
 
2008
Scientists at City of Hope begin the first in-human clinical trials of RNA-based gene therapy for HIV-related illnesses
 
2010
The City of Hope Medical Foundation is established.
 
2011
City of Hope reaches its milestone 10,000th bone marrow transplant, becoming one of the largest and most successful transplant programs of its kind in the world.
 
2013
City of Hope celebrates its 100th anniversary.
 

City of Hope Archives

City of Hope Archives
The City of Hope Archives appraises, collects, preserves and manages the records, papers, photographs and artifacts of enduring value that document the century-long history of this acclaimed institution. 
 
For research inquiries or to find out about donating historical materials, please contact Susan Yates, Archives Program Manager, at syates@coh.org.
Welcome to City of Hope
City of Hope is a new model of cancer center, focused on rapidly transforming scientific discoveries into better treatments and better prevention strategies for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.

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