The Department of Medical Oncology at City of Hope is involved in the diagnosis, treatment, genetic counseling, and research of adult solid tumors. It is also closely aligned with the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center's Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program.
The Department currently includes twenty-one faculty physicians, nine nurse practitioners and physician assistants, five protocol nurse coordinators as well as many basic science faculty. In addition, there is a community practice affiliate of the Department located in Pasadena, California, 15 miles from City of Hope. This practice consists of three full time medical oncologists as well as chemotherapy and protocol nurses. Clinical trials available to City of Hope patients are also available to patients at the Pasadena affiliate site.
The clinical activities of the Department are organized along the lines of an inpatient hospital service and solid tumor program outpatient clinics. All hospitalized medical oncology patients are admitted to a Medical Oncology Ward Service consisting of an attending faculty member, a fellow trainee, and a physician extender. It has set the standard for the rest of the hospital in providing well-coordinated inpatient care with continuity and efficiency. The outpatient clinics are organized by solid tumor types with dedicated faculty, protocol nurses and extenders of each solid tumor program caring for patients within specialty clinics. Clinics also include the multidisciplinary involvement of surgeons and radiation oncologists.
The Department’s commitment to the highest level of oncologic care is reflected in its active participation within the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an association of 21 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers for which City of Hope was one of the founding members. Faculty physicians serve as members of cancer treatment guideline panels for various tumor types. In turn, these panels are responsible for creating nationally accepted algorithms for evidence-based treatment and surveillance of cancer. The guidelines have become accepted as standards by consumers and insurers and represent the cutting-edge therapy available at NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers typified by City of Hope. Members of the Department are also involved in the teaching of fellows within our highly competitive subspecialty Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship program.
Over 25 years ago, the Department of Medical Oncology spearheaded solid tumor clinical research and new drug development. The Department has played a pivotal role within the Phase I and Phase II California Cancer Consortium, a cooperative group funded by the NCI’s Cancer Treatment and Evaluation Program (CTEP). This is a consortium of four cancer NCI Cancer Comprehensive Cancer Centers (City of Hope, University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center, University of California-Davis Cancer Center, and most recently University of Pittsburgh). City of Hope serves as the biostatistical coordinating center as well as the pharmacology core facility of this large consortium. Research efforts within the Department also include clinical trials under the aegis of other national cooperative groups including the Organ Dysfunction Working Group (also funded by CTEP), the Cytokine Working Group, Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC), as well as Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Program (NSABP).