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UCSF Receives $150 Million Pledge for Cancer Center

By Kristen Bole, UCSF News Services | June 22, 2007

UCSF has received a $150 million pledge to support clinical and research programs of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is the largest philanthropic commitment from an individual ever received by the University and was given anonymously.

Already recognized for its research excellence and regarded as one of the most comprehensive programs in the nation, the UCSF Cancer Center will use the gift to strengthen five major components of its programs.

The gift will support UCSF's efforts to become a world leader in cancer care and the West Coast hub for experimental therapies in treating cancer patients; develop a world-class database system to support individualized therapies of the future; enhance the Center's ability to recruit top-league scientific leaders; improve patient care and support services; and further strengthen the Center's translation of basic research into clinical care.

"This commitment is a tribute to both the donor's inspirational vision and the excellence already present at UCSF," said UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD. "The donor's immense generosity will serve as a potent catalyst for programs and research that will benefit cancer patients throughout the world."

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America, exceeded only by heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year, more than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of the disease. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 10.5 million Americans - roughly one in 29 - are now living with a previous diagnosis of cancer.

"The magnitude of this gift reflects the enormity of need for funding in both cancer research and the translation of that research into successful therapies for every patient," said UCSF Cancer Center Director Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS. "This is a bold first step in launching UCSF to the forefront of the search for the cures of the future."

UCSF: A Leader in Cancer Care
The UCSF Cancer Center was designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute in 1999 in recognition of the highest level of excellence in both its scientific research and its ability to integrate diverse research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer and improve patient outcomes.

The Center ranks first in California and sixth nationwide in National Cancer Institute research grants and is home to pioneers in research into genetic, cellular and immune system causes and responses to cancer.

Among its many subspecialties, the Center includes flagship programs in breast and prostate cancer and the largest brain tumor program in the nation, which offers state-of-the-art research and treatment for both children and adults. As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, it also maintains programs that focus on cancer prevention, control, and population sciences.

Read more at Kristen Bole, UCSF News Services