In the late 1960s, a group of scientists and volunteers at UCLA came together to develop a cancer center they hoped would become renowned for excellence in research, education and patient care.
In 1976, the cancer center at UCLA was designated "comprehensive" by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Of the 63 NCI cancer center programs nationwide, only 40 receive the gold-star comprehensive status. UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) receives this honor for maintaining the highest standards of excellence in patient care, education, basic science, clinical research and cancer prevention.
JCCC has established an international reputation in a number of areas, such as:
* Developing new cancer therapies
* Providing the best in experimental and traditional treatments
* Expertly guiding and training the next generation of medical researchers
Numerous successful targeted therapies were developed based on basic science done in UCLA laboratories and later clinical research with UCLA patients. A few of the more well-known therapies include:
* Herceptin, a targeted breast cancer drug and the first approved treatment that attacks cancer at its genetic roots
* Gleevec, a once-a-day pill that targets a common form of adult leukemia called chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML
* Sprycel, also a pill that targets CML
* Tarceva, a targeted lung cancer drug
* Avastin, a targeted drug for colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer