City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, announced that its comprehensive cancer center has received the highest rating possible for a U.S. cancer center — “exceptional” — by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. The ranking puts the center in the top echelon of the nation’s 53 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers.
City of Hope was also awarded more than $23 million in competitive funding through renewal of its NCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant to support its research, cancer training and education programs and community outreach over the next five years. City of Hope has held the prestigious NCI designation since it became an NCI-designated cancer center in 1981. It first received comprehensive cancer center status in 1998, which has been renewed every five years and requires an intense peer-review process.
To receive the “comprehensive” designation, City of Hope met NCI’s rigorous criteria for laboratory, clinical and population-based research that benefits the communities it serves.
Comprehensive designation ensures patients get access to leading-edge treatments, including development of personalized therapies based on the unique molecular characteristics of individual patients’ tumors and access to clinical trials in early phases of drug development. It also means that the physicians who see patients in clinic are collaborating with researchers to develop new approaches to detecting, preventing and defeating cancer for all populations.
“City of Hope is honored to be recognized once again by the NCI for our research that leads to new discoveries and innovative therapies for our patients. It is an extraordinary tribute to our dedicated doctors, scientists and staff who carry out City of Hope’s mission every day,” said Robert Stone, City of Hope’s CEO and Helen and Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. “Our commitment to research allows for more leading-edge clinical trials to be conducted and highlights our multidisciplinary approach to preventing, detecting and treating cancer.”
“For City of Hope patients, the renewed designation means that they will continue to have access to unique and targeted trials that represent the latest in advanced technology, the best patient care experience achievable and the best possible outcomes,” said Steven T. Rosen, M.D., City of Hope provost, chief scientific officer and the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, who also serves as principal investigator of the grant. “City of Hope patients can expect that, in addition to surgical, medical and radiation oncology, their multidisciplinary care team will also include experts in related services vital to their outcome, such as our clinical care team, genetic counselors, pharmacists, supportive care staff and much more.”
NCI praised the organization’s “superb leadership” and “innovative and robust research programs demonstrating high levels of scientific productivity and translation to clinical trials.” The reviewers also emphasized City of Hope’s numerous discoveries in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T therapy, in which a patient’s immune cells are reprogrammed to fight their tumors, as well as increased publications in high-impact journals and a 76% increase in NCI funding during the last five years.
City of Hope’s Los Angeles campus, located in Duarte, is the location of its NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, which is the research and innovation hub for its national cancer system. Community-based access to its most advanced treatments, including its renowned hematology and bone marrow transplantation programs, clinical trials and advanced precision medicine and cellular therapies, has increased due to the expansion of its clinical network in Southern California, the addition of City of Hope campuses in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix, and the opening of a new cancer center in Orange County.
City of Hope’s system of provider and research entities now serves approximately 134,000 patients each year, with over 11,000 team members, 600 physicians and more than 1,000 scientists and researchers across a network of locations in California, Arizona, Illinois and Georgia. City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center opened in Irvine in 2022 and construction has started on Orange County’s only specialty cancer hospital.