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.

Recognized as one of the nation’s premier centers for innovative biomedical research, City of Hope’s Beckman Research Institute advances the fundamental understanding of molecular genetics, cellular biology and more.
Our City of Hope's Comprehensive Cancer Center provides a multidisciplinary, interactive environment where basic, clinical and translational scientists collaborate closely.
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.

Our Scientists

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

City of Hope offers a number of exciting fellowships and residencies in laboratory research, administration, clinical applications and other areas.
  • Cancer cells may be known for their uncontrollable growth and spread, but they also differ from normal tissue in another manner: how they produce energy. In healthy cells, energy is derived primarily from aerobic respiration, an oxygen-requiring process that extracts the maximum possible energy from glucose, or...
  • Clinical trials are expensive and complex, but they’re essential for bringing new therapies to patients. Edward Newman, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular pharmacology, just boosted City of Hope’s ability to conduct those studies with a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute...
  • Meet City of Hope’s new chair of the Department of Surgery – esteemed pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgeon, researcher and author Yuman Fong, M.D. As one of today’s most respected and recognizable physicians in the treatment of cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder and pancreas, Fong has pioneered and en...
  • For most of her life, Southern California teenager Kayla Saikaly described herself as healthy, even very healthy. She played basketball. She never missed school with as much as a fever. Her worst childhood illness was nothing more than a cold. Then, when she was 13, her nose started bleeding after a basketball ...
  • Neuroblastoma is one of the deadliest childhood cancers, accounting for 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths. For patients with high-risk neuroblastomas, the five-year survival rate is 40 to 50 percent even with the most rigorous treatments available today. But those odds may improve soon, thanks to a new comp...
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...