Research Summary

Rebecca (Becky) DeBoer, MD, MA is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF and an attending medical oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital (SFGH). She has an academic background in bioethics and global health, and prior clinical experience working as an oncology clinician at Butaro Hospital in rural Rwanda with the NGO Partners In Health. Her research uses implementation science to improve the delivery of high quality, equitable cancer care to patients in diverse settings including in Rwanda, Tanzania, and the public safety net health system in San Francisco. Her current projects focus on patient-clinician communication, resource allocation, and clinical practice evaluation and improvement in cancer care. She also teaches global health ethics at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and medical ethics at the UCSF School of Medicine. Clinically, she has a general oncology clinic and a breast oncology clinic at SFGH.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023 - Cultural Adaptation of a Serious Illness Communication Intervention for Latinx Patients with Advanced Cancer at a Public Safety Net Hospital , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) Kornfeld Scholars Program Award, Sponsor Award ID:
  • April 4, 2012 - June 30, 2022 - University of California Global Health Institute Program for Fellows and Scholars , GloCal Health Fellow . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: D43TW009343
  • July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 - Adaptation and Implementation of Evidence-Based Communication Skills Training at Butaro Hospital in Rwanda , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation: 2020 Global Oncology Young Investigator Award: Implementation Science to Address Oncology Care in LMICs, Sponsor Award ID: P0539944
  • July 1, 2018 - December 31, 2020 - An Ethical Approach to Routine Tragic Choices: Radiotherapy Allocation in Rwanda , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: Greenwall Foundation, Sponsor Award ID: A131753


Stanford University, B.A., 06/2005, Human Biology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, M.D., 05/2011, Medicine
Northwestern University Program in Medical Humanities and Bioethics, M.A., 03/2014, Medical Humanities and Bioethics
University of Chicago, 06/2014, Internal Medicine Residency
MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; Chicago, IL, 06/2016, Clinical Medical Ethics Fellowship
University of California, San Francisco, 06/2019, Medical Oncology Fellowship

Honors & Awards

  • 2003
    Human Biology Research Exploration (HB-REX) Grant (Stanford University)
  • 2004
    Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Community Service
  • 2005
    Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology
  • 2005
    Albert H. Hastorf Award for Outstanding Service to Program in Human Biology (Stanford University)
  • 2007
    Department of Neurological Surgery Staff Recognition and Development Award (UCSF)
  • 2008
    International Health Fellowship (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
  • 2008
    Program in Medical Humanities and Bioethics Travel Grant (Northwestern University)
  • 2008
    Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC) Young Investigators Research Grant
  • 2014
    19th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) Travel Grant
  • 2017
    Rachel Pearline Award in Recognition of an Extraordinary Commitment to Patient Care (UCSF)

Selected Publications

  1. Sakafu LL, Philipo GS, Malichewe CV, Fundikira LS, Lwakatare FA, Van Loon K, Mushi BP, DeBoer RJ, Bialous SA, Lee AY. Delayed diagnostic evaluation of symptomatic breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: A qualitative study of Tanzanian women. PLoS One. 2022; 17(10):e0275639.  View on PubMed
  2. Morgan J, DeBoer RJ, Bigirimana JB, Nguyen C, Ruhangaza D, Paciorek A, Mugabo F, Villaverde C, Nsabimana N, Bihizimana P, Umwizerwa A, Lehmann LE, Shulman LN, Shyirambere C. A Ten-Year Experience of Treating Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Rural Rwanda: Outcomes and Insights for a Changing Landscape. JCO Glob Oncol. 2022 07; 8:e2200131.  View on PubMed
  3. Tsang M, DeBoer RJ, Garrett SB, Dohan D. Decision-making about clinical trial options among older patients with metastatic cancer who have exhausted standard therapies. J Geriatr Oncol. 2022 06; 13(5):594-599.  View on PubMed
  4. DeBoer RJ, Rugo HS, Shulman LN. Reconceptualizing Risk-Benefit Assessment of Novel Cancer Therapies to Expand Global Access and Reduce Worldwide Mortality. JAMA Oncol. 2022 02 01; 8(2):203-204.  View on PubMed
  5. DeBoer RJ, Umutoni V, Bazzett-Matabele L, Katznelson E, Nguyen C, Umwizerwa A, Bigirimana JB, Paciorek A, Nsabimana N, Ruhangaza D, Ntasumbumuyange D, Shulman LN, Triedman SA, Shyirambere C. Cervical cancer treatment in Rwanda: Resource-driven adaptations, quality indicators, and patient outcomes. Gynecol Oncol. 2022 02; 164(2):370-378.  View on PubMed
  6. DeBoer RJ, Nguyen C, Mutoniwase E, Ho A, Umutesi G, Bigirimana JB, Triedman SA, Shyirambere C. Procedural fairness for radiotherapy priority setting in a low resource context. Bioethics. 2022 06; 36(5):500-510.  View on PubMed
  7. Nyagabona SK, Luhar R, Ndumbalo J, Mvungi N, Ngoma M, Meena S, Siu S, Said M, Mwaiselage J, Tarimo E, Buckle G, Selekwa M, Mushi B, Mmbaga EJ, Van Loon K, DeBoer RJ. Views from Multidisciplinary Oncology Clinicians on Strengthening Cancer Care Delivery Systems in Tanzania. Oncologist. 2021 07; 26(7):e1197-e1204.  View on PubMed
  8. DeBoer RJ, Mutoniwase E, Nguyen C, Ho A, Umutesi G, Nkusi E, Sebahungu F, Van Loon K, Shulman LN, Shyirambere C. Moral Distress and Resilience Associated with Cancer Care Priority Setting in a Resource-Limited Context. Oncologist. 2021 07; 26(7):e1189-e1196.  View on PubMed
  9. Blanchard C, Lubuzo B, Asirwa FC, Dlamini X, Msadabwe-Chikuni SC, Mwachiro M, Shyirambere C, Ruhangaza D, Milner DA, Van Loon K, DeBoer R, Mtshali P, Dugan U, Baker E, Shulman LN. Multisector Collaborations and Global Oncology: The Only Way Forward. JCO Glob Oncol. 2021 01; 7:153-161.  View on PubMed
  10. DeBoer RJ, Fadelu TA, Shulman LN, Van Loon K. Applying Lessons Learned From Low-Resource Settings to Prioritize Cancer Care in a Pandemic. JAMA Oncol. 2020 09 01; 6(9):1429-1433.  View on PubMed
  11. DeBoer RJ, Shyirambere C, Driscoll CD, Butera Y, Paciorek A, Ruhangaza D, Fadelu TA, Umwizerwa A, Bigirimana JB, Muhayimana C, Nguyen C, Park PH, Mpunga T, Lehmann L, Shulman LN. Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma With ABVD Chemotherapy in Rural Rwanda: A Model for Cancer Care Delivery Implementation. JCO Glob Oncol. 2020 07; 6:1093-1102.  View on PubMed
  12. Mutebi M, Anderson BO, Duggan C, Adebamowo C, Agarwal G, Ali Z, Bird P, Bourque JM, DeBoer R, Gebrim LH, Masetti R, Masood S, Menon M, Nakigudde G, Ng'ang'a A, Niyonzima N, Rositch AF, Unger-Saldaña K, Villarreal-Garza C, Dvaladze A, El Saghir NS, Gralow JR, Eniu A. Breast cancer treatment: A phased approach to implementation. Cancer. 2020 05 15; 126 Suppl 10:2365-2378.  View on PubMed
  13. Rositch AF, Unger-Saldaña K, DeBoer RJ, Ng'ang'a A, Weiner BJ. The role of dissemination and implementation science in global breast cancer control programs: Frameworks, methods, and examples. Cancer. 2020 05 15; 126 Suppl 10:2394-2404.  View on PubMed
  14. DeBoer RJ, Ndumbalo J, Meena S, Ngoma MT, Mvungi N, Siu S, Selekwa M, Nyagabona SK, Luhar R, Buckle G, Lin TK, Breithaupt L, Kennell-Heiling S, Mushi B, Philipo GS, Mmbaga EJ, Mwaiselage J, Van Loon K. Development of a theory-driven implementation strategy for cancer management guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa. Implement Sci Commun. 2020; 1:24.  View on PubMed
  15. Xu MJ, Su D, Deboer R, Garcia M, Tahir P, Anderson W, Kinderman A, Braunstein S, Sherertz T. Palliative Oncologic Care Curricula for Providers in Resource-Limited and Underserved Communities: a Systematic Review. J Cancer Educ. 2019 04; 34(2):205-215.  View on PubMed
  16. Rubagumya F, Greenberg L, Manirakiza A, DeBoer R, Park PH, Mpunga T, Shulman LN. Increasing global access to cancer care: models of care with non-oncologists as primary providers. Lancet Oncol. 2017 08; 18(8):1000-1002.  View on PubMed
  17. Daly B, Hantel A, Wroblewski K, Balachandran JS, Chow S, DeBoer R, Fleming GF, Hahn OM, Kline J, Liu H, Patel BK, Verma A, Witt LJ, Fukui M, Kumar A, Howell MD, Polite BN. No Exit: Identifying Avoidable Terminal Oncology Intensive Care Unit Hospitalizations. J Oncol Pract. 2016 10; 12(10):e901-e911.  View on PubMed
  18. DeBoer R, Koval G, Mulkey F, Wetzler M, Devine S, Marcucci G, Stone RM, Larson RA, Bloomfield CD, Geyer S, Mullighan CG, Stock W. Clinical impact of ABL1 kinase domain mutations and IKZF1 deletion in adults under age 60 with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): molecular analysis of CALGB (Alliance) 10001 and 9665. Leuk Lymphoma. 2016 10; 57(10):2298-306.  View on PubMed
  19. Keck MK, Zuo Z, Khattri A, Stricker TP, Brown CD, Imanguli M, Rieke D, Endhardt K, Fang P, Brägelmann J, DeBoer R, El-Dinali M, Aktolga S, Lei Z, Tan P, Rozen SG, Salgia R, Weichselbaum RR, Lingen MW, Story MD, Ang KK, Cohen EE, White KP, Vokes EE, Seiwert TY. Integrative analysis of head and neck cancer identifies two biologically distinct HPV and three non-HPV subtypes. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Feb 15; 21(4):870-81.  View on PubMed
  20. Raizer JJ, Fitzner KA, Jacobs DI, Bennett CL, Liebling DB, Luu TH, Trifilio SM, Grimm SA, Fisher MJ, Haleem MS, Ray PS, McKoy JM, DeBoer R, Tulas KM, Deeb M, McKoy JM. Economics of Malignant Gliomas: A Critical Review. J Oncol Pract. 2015 01; 11(1):e59-65.  View on PubMed

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