Cancer Research and Care

It’s one of the most common and deadly illnesses. It’s also preventable in up to 50 percent of cases. So why is there no single cancer solution? Because cancer is really many different diseases, each as unique as the life it threatens.

Your gifts enable the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to champion precision medicine that addresses each patient’s distinctive cancer profile. In 2019, this work will have a new home: the UCSF Precision Cancer Medicine Building. From this central location on our Mission Bay campus, we will take advantage of extraordinary advances in diagnosis and treatment, offering precise, personalized therapies; individualized, evidence-based care plans; and all the necessary resources for physical and emotional healing.

We have entered an era in which rapidly accelerating discovery can make advanced cancers manageable and early-stage cancers curable.

ALAN ASHWORTH, PhD, FRS, President, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professor in Oncology

Because precision cancer medicine requires data-intensive DNA sequencing, UCSF’s molecular oncology initiative is creating a virtual warehouse of data from leading cancer centers worldwide. Drawing on the program’s information stores, researcher-clinicians will be able to develop lifesaving treatment strategies based on the characteristics of each cancer case.

Your gifts also support our pioneering Cancer Immunotherapy Program, which harnesses the power of each patient’s immune system to thwart the disease. Recent discoveries in cancer immunotherapies give both patients and physicians hope that we will soon be able to halt cancer without chemotherapy or other toxic therapies.

Not everyone in our community has access to available cancer treatments and prevention approaches. Already the leading cause of death in San Francisco, cancer disproportionately affects people of color. The San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN) – a coalition of community representatives, public health officials, and UCSF cancer researchers – aims to dramatically reduce cancer’s impact by harnessing the city’s energy and social justice commitment. With its diverse population, San Francisco is the ideal laboratory for work that could provide a model for other communities.

UCSF Diller Cancer Academy

The UCSF Diller Cancer Academy gives members a meaningful way to stay connected to developments in cancer research and treatment while engaging with the UCSF cancer team at exclusive events and presentations.

To learn more about the Academy, please contact Whitney Carroll.

01 / 03 Alan Ashworth and Pamela Munster head a new center that provides a unique model of care for patients with hereditary cancers due to BRCA and other genetic mutations. Photo by Elisabeth Fall
02 / 03 Lawrence Fong leads UCSF’s recently launched Cancer Immunotherapy Program. New immunotherapies are changing the paradigm for how we treat patients with cancer. Photo by Sonya Yruel
03 / 03 Scientists like Eric Collisson are identifying genetic mutations in cancer and other diseases, matching the most effective treatments to the patient. Photo by Steve Babuljak


Ranking in cancer patient care in Northern California (U.S. News & World Report) and in research funding from the National Cancer Institute


Clinical trials led by cancer center investigators annually

1.7 million

Americans diagnosed with cancer each year

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