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Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of California, San Diego
Comprehensive Cancer Center

Diane M. Simeone, M.D., Director

La Jolla, California

General Information: 1-866-773-2703

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Established in 1978, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is San Diego’s only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Its unique blend of cancer research and patient care is transforming cancer prevention, detection, and care. From basic research in genomics, oncogenic states, cancer network maps and advanced personalized medicine, immunotherapy and stem cell therapies, Moores Cancer Center is at the forefront in developing promising new therapies and bench-to-bedside innovations. It also offers the latest surgical technologies and more than 300 interventional treatment trials available to patients today. 

Because every cancer is different and every patient responds differently, physicians at Moores Cancer Center do not simply treat disease, they treat each person. A multidisciplinary clinical team involves specialists in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology, as well as pathology, diagnostic radiology, and nuclear medicine. Clinical care includes Magnet-accredited nursing, behavioral counseling, social work, and genetic counseling. Together, they meet regularly for and with each patient to discuss the best options available. Moores Cancer Center offers precision immunotherapies, and nearly all patients undergo advanced genomic sequencing and clinical-grade liquid biopsies so that treatment decisions can be made in conjunction with a specialized Molecular Tumor Board.  

Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Laboratory researchers work hand in hand with clinicians to discover, develop, and deliver new and better therapies for more than 200 types of cancer. Moores Cancer Center is one of the nation’s leading research centers for hematologic malignancies, cancer genomics, imaging, cancer stem cells, and immuno-oncology, from cutting-edge cell therapies to personalized vaccines to new therapeutics. Cancer therapy is evolving rapidly and Moores Cancer Center is located in San Diego’s biotech hub, collaborating with the world’s most innovative biotech companies discovering the future of cancer therapy.  

The world-class team of researchers have expertise across a broad range of scientific disciplines. Moores Cancer Center led the formation of the San Diego NCI Cancer Centers Council with two of the nation’s seven basic research NCI-Designated Cancer Centers (Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Sanford Burnham Prebys) to advance cancer prevention and control, screening, and therapy through enhanced interactions, collaborations and joint projects, studies and trials. Moores Cancer Center plays a vital role in creating public policy on cancer prevention in such areas as smoking cessation and health care disparities, led by María Elena Martínez, Ph.D., a founding member of the NCI’s National Cancer Moonshot℠ Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel.

Select Scientific Initiatives at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center  

Scientific findings and innovations made by Moores Cancer Center researchers are changing how cancer is treated today: 

  • Ezra Cohen, M.D., partners with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology’s Stephen Schoenberger, Ph.D., to develop the first-of-its-kind personalized cancer vaccine 
  • Andy Lowy, M.D., and Tannishtha Reya, Ph.D., are part of the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team, an international group of researchers awarded $12 million to study if “reprogramming” pancreatic cancer with new classes of drugs can improve survival for patients 
  • Razelle Kurzrock, M.D., and Sandip Patel, M.D., along with Northwestern University and SWOG, lead the first major immunotherapy trial devoted to rare cancers called Dual Anti-CTLA-4 & Anti-PD-1 Blockade in Rare Tumors (DART) 

In the past, achievements include: 

  • Roger Tsien, Ph.D., 2008 Nobel Prize winner, helped develop fluorescent therapy to accurately identify cancer boundaries during surgery 
  • Michael Karin, Ph.D., researched the connection between inflammation and cancer 
  • Thomas Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., pioneered early-phase trials of the cancer stem cell protein target ROR1. 

This profile was provided by UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. 


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