Cancer Research and Care


UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


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

That’s why the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center works to advance precision medicine, developing treatments that target the unique genetics and biology behind each patient’s cancer. With support from our donors, we opened the UCSF Precision Cancer Medicine Building in 2019 – creating a central hub for cutting-edge research collaborations and precise, personalized therapies. Your gifts help us empower patients with care plans tailored to their needs, including their mental and emotional health.

Precision Cancer Patient Care

Because precision cancer medicine requires data-intensive DNA sequencing, experts from UCSF’s molecular oncology initiative are collaborating with leading cancer centers worldwide to deepen our understanding of cancer genetics. Drawing on this rich data warehouse, our researchers are developing lifesaving treatment strategies for many different kinds of cancer.

Your donations also support our pioneering immunotherapy studies. These drugs harness the power of each patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells. And at the new UCSF Living Therapeutics Initiative, our scientists are developing new ways to use a patient’s own cells – modified through groundbreaking technology like CRISPR – to stop cancer and other illnesses.

Sadly, cancer remains the leading cause of death in San Francisco, and it has an outsized impact on people of color. UCSF is committed to countering these trends and increasing everyone’s access to the best possible cancer care. Your generosity empowers us to address health inequities through projects like the San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN), which works with community groups and city officials to reduce the most common causes of cancer through evidence-based prevention and early-detection efforts.

Join Our Giving Society: President's Partners

With an annual gift of $1,000 or more, you can help UCSF drive forward scientific discovery and provide compassionate, personalized cancer care to those who matter most: our patients. President’s Partners also receive regular updates on the impact of their investment from Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, president of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more:

Alan Ashworth
Dr. Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS

We’re just at the infancy of cell engineering – hacking the genome of cells and getting them to behave in controllable ways. It’s like a computer’s operating system. The early ones were clunky, but now they’re incredibly sophisticated. That’s the trajectory we’re on.

—Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS President of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Care Center and Chair of the Living Therapeutics Initiative Steering Committee


Ranking in cancer patient care in Northern California (U.S. News & World Report)


Open clinical trials led by our cancer center investigators


Public recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health

Your giving inspires our quest to halt cancer.

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