Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion
Doctors Affiliated with this Treatment Facility
Headquartered at the medical center’s Mount Zion campus in San Francisco, California, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center is the renowned cancer treatment arm of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF). Named after a Bay Area philanthropist, the Helen Diller Cancer Center brings together scientists and clinicians from a wide spectrum of backgrounds with one shared goal: preventing and eradicating cancer. Its success has been notable. It is among a select group of National Institutes of Health-designated “comprehensive cancer centers”; it consistently ranks among the top ten cancer hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report; and research conducted under its roof has been recognized with the coveted Nobel Prize.
A key figure in the history of UCSF’s cancer care was David A. Wood, a respected doctor who served as the first director of the UCSF Cancer Research Institute starting in 1948. Wood brought to his position a belief that to cure cancer, the medical community must take a “multidisciplinary approach, both clinical and basic scientists working together.” This philosophy remains central to the hospital’s beliefs today.
In 1999, UCSF’s cancer center was designated a “comprehensive cancer center” by the National Institutes of Health, the highest possible designation bestowed by the government agency. The title recognized the center for its scientific excellence, diverse research tactics, excellent patient care, and effective outreach activities that seek to prevent as well as control cancer. In 2007, the UCSF cancer center was renamed as the UCFS Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, paying tribute to support from Bay Area resident Helen Diller and her family.
Mesothelioma Treatment at the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research is an integral part of the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, both in early-stage investigations and through patient-centered clinical trials. The center has boasted the highest level of research funding from the National Cancer Institute in the state of California and the eighth highest among comprehensive cancer centers nationwide. Researchers at Helen Diller have developed new and improved chemotherapy drugs, made advances in understanding the connection between cancer and genetics, and have pioneered safer and more effective surgical techniques for the removal of cancer, including the use of robots in the operating room. The cancer center gets an added boost from its strong relationship with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a connection that provides additional resources for research between the two institutions.
But it’s not just science that is important at the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center; people are the real focus. Employing multidisciplinary teams of doctors, the center offers state-of-the-art diagnostics, treatment, and follow-up care services for more than 6,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. Each patient gets the benefit of not one, but numerous physicians, specialists, nurses, surgeons, nutritionists and others who work together from diagnosis through the treatment process.
Cancer treatment can be extremely stressful, of course; staying informed can help you remain calm and empowered as you navigate the process. The Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center is home to the Ida & Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center, an excellent resource that provides information, workshops and emotional support to patients, families and community members. For patients that might benefit from more in-depth psychological support, the UCSF Psycho-oncology Service can help ease the distress that so often comes with a mesothelioma diagnosis. Wigs, scarves, prostheses and other items that could be of help are available through Friend to Friend, a program of the Hospital Auxiliary of the UCSF Mount Zion Medical Center.
While it is headquartered at a five-story building on the Mount Zion campus, the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center also has programs at UCSF’s Parnassus and Mission Bay complexes. Mesothelioma is typically treated at Mount Zion, where the thoracic oncology department is housed.
Author: Linda Molinari
Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer AllianceRead about Linda
Reviewer: Annette Charlevois
Patient Support CoordinatorRead about Annette
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center — History
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center — Facts & Figures
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center — Accomplishments
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center — Support Services
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center — Facilities