Cancer Center Research Programs

City of Hope provides a multidisciplinary, interactive environment where basic, clinical and translational, and prevention and control scientists collaborate closely. This stimulating intellectual environment contributes to the productive translational research under way within the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our research initiatives are divided into the following research programs:
Basic Science Research Program
The Comprehensive Cancer Center provides both the infrastructure and the environment for outstanding basic science research. ("Basic science" refers to research conducted in a laboratory setting.) In turn, this research contributes to our understanding of the underlying genetic, molecular and biological bases of cancer. The basic science research program at City of Hope is called Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer (MCBC).
Clinical and Translational Research Programs
The Comprehensive Cancer Center's clinical and translational research programs focus on the translation of novel laboratory observations into the treatment of patients (and their families) and, ultimately, throughout the world. The number of the Center's novel (Phases I and I/II) clinical trials increases yearly. The clinical and translational science research programs are:
  • Developmental Cancer Therapeutics (DCT)
  • Cancer Immunotherapeutics (CI)
  • Hematologic Malignancies (HM)
Prevention and Control Program
Cancer prevention and control research at the Comprehensive Cancer Center is conducted within a program on Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS). The members of this research program cover an extensive spectrum of disciplines, which is further broadened by additional collaborations with physician investigators. Such a confederation of expertise, working within a collaborative environment, maximizes productive interaction. The program focuses on four important areas of concentration:
  • Host and environmental determinants of cancer
  • Health-related outcomes and quality of life after cancer
  • Interventional studies to reduce cancer-related morbidity
  • Educational initiatives
Our five research programs, described above, represent a continuum, as shown in the figure below. Basic and translational studies can originate in either the basic science program, MCBC or the DCT Program. These studies can then link to phase I and II clinical protocols in all three clinical programs—DCT, CI and HM. They can also integrate into follow-up studies in survivorship and symptom management in the CCPS Program. On this continuum, CI spans both translational and clinical research, whereas HM is predominantly (but not exclusively) clinical. Frequent interaction between the principal investigators of each program ensures maximum benefit from shared insights. All these activities are made possible by City of Hope’s infrastructure, which supports basic and translational research in biological and in small molecule approaches to cancer.
The arrow in the figure below represents our realization that, even as activities move to the right toward clinical realization, there is a strong requirement to recycle back to developmental activities in response to the knowledge we gain in early clinical application. Our scientists are already doing this routinely, aided by our flexible and responsive infrastructure. The CCPS Program also contributes to the cycle by providing downstream information on effects of therapy and also potential prevention and therapeutic targets — findings arising out of survivorship and molecular epidemiological work of CCPS. These findings may then be explored by other programs in the continuum.