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Mesothelioma Cancer Centers

University of California San Francisco Medical Center

University of California San Francisco Medical Center

505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94143

(888) 689-8273

Learn More about this Cancer Center

With locations across California’s Bay Area, the University of California San Francisco Medical Center is one of the leading research and teaching hospitals in the United States. The hospital has two campuses in Parnassus Heights and Mount Zion, and in 2010 it opened its newest facility in Mission Bay. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the UCSF Medical Center as the seventh best overall medical center in the United States.


The University of California San Francisco Medical Center can trace its existence back to one man: a South Carolina surgeon names Hugh Toland. In 1849, Toland came to California in the Gold Rush in hopes of striking it rich; he turned out to be unsuccessful at mining, so he established a surgical practice in San Francisco. The practice was a great success, and by 1864, Toland was able to purchase a plot of land and open Toland Medical College.

In 1873, Toland Medical College became affiliated with the University of California, which had opened its campus several years earlier in Berkeley. Around the same time, the university also affiliated with a third school, the California College of Pharmacy. San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro donated 13 acres of land to the university, allowing the three schools — known as the “Affiliated Colleges” — to open on one campus overlooking Golden Gate Park, an area today known as Parnassus Heights.

In April 1906, tragedy struck San Francisco: a great earthquake that destroyed much of the city and the majority of its medical facilities. More than 40,000 survivors sought refuge in Golden Gate Park, where makeshift hospital tents were set up. Sensing a need, UCSF faculty responded during the crisis. The following year, one of the Affiliated Colleges buildings was converted into an outpatient and dental hospital. By 1949, the Parnassus campus had been designated as the main medical campus for the university and was named the UC Medical Center in San Francisco. A new Medical Sciences Building was constructed and the medical college was united in one place for the first time.

Over the coming decades, the medical center expanded considerably and worked to attract outstanding researchers and doctors. As its reputation soared over time, the Parnassus campus became cramped, a situation that limited the hospital’s ability to conduct research. Expansion efforts were not popular with the area’s residents, and so the medical center expanded in other regions of the city. In 1990, UCSF acquires Mount Zion Hospital, renaming it UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion. In 1999, the Mount Zion campus became home to a cancer center, which was later named the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Also in 1999, ground broke for the newest UCSF campus at Mission Bay, on a 57-acre parcel once occupied by old warehouses and rail yards. The first building was completed in 2003. The new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay — a 289-bed integrated hospital complex and world-class facility serving children, women and cancer patients — is expected to open in 2014.

Mesothelioma Treatment at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center

UCSF has a solid reputation for cancer treatment. In its 2011-12 ranking of “America’s Best Hospitals,” U.S. News & World Report ranked UCSF eighth in the nation for cancer care, and the best in the state of California. The hospital has consistently ranked in the top 10 for the past seven years. In addition to its excellent patient care, UCSF has a strong reputation for research: the UCSF School of Medicine, which is affiliated with the hospital, ranks near the top in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, receiving funding of more than $420 million as of 2010.

UCSF has been home to two Nobel Prize-winning cancer researchers: J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus, who made exciting discoveries about the links between cancer and genetics. Today, leaders at UCSF include two renowned mesothelioma doctors: Drs. David M. Jablons and Thierry M. Jahan. Dr. Jablons, a doctor with decades of experience who has published extensively about mesothelioma, is chief of UCSF’s Section of General Thoracic Surgery. In addition to traditional treatment offerings such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, patients at UCSF may also participate in clinical trials, should they choose to do so.

In addition to the most effective treatments possible, UCSF also offers an array of support services for people with cancer. The Ernest H. Rosenbaum MD Art for Recovery program offers patients the opportunity to express the feelings that might arise during cancer treatment. Offerings include writing programs, art support groups, quilting projects, and support for the whole family.

Public-private partnerships can help speed the advancement of biomedical research and move discoveries from bench to bedside.UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators have developed creative partnerships with dozens of life-science companies in the Bay Area and beyond. Current initiatives totaling millions of dollars in research funding include strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Novartis, Genentech, SurroMed, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Celera Diagnostics, and Predicant Biosciences.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois

UCSF Health Center

UCSF History

UCSF — Mission Bay

UCSF 2011 Annual Report

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