Discovering a cure for cancer has been the goal of researchers and oncologists for centuries. And while technically there is no cure for cancer, the past few decades have brought lifesaving breakthroughs that enable many cancer survivors to declare that they are “cancer free.” The world-renowned oncology specialists at Saint John’s Cancer Institute lead the fight to beat cancer while providing compassionate care in a healing environment that is a state-of-the-art medical facility.

Since 1991, under the leadership of cancer pioneer Donald Morton, MD, we have remained on the forefront of research studies, clinical trials, compassionate clinical care, fellowship training and community education in many cancer specialties. In addition to seeking a cancer cure, our physicians and surgical oncologists have made strides to enhance techniques, improve treatments and address patients’ quality of life.

Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center is a leader in cancer research and an innovator when it comes to pioneering treatments in surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapies. Our commitment to attracting renowned oncologist, surgical oncologists and specialists in brain, breast, endocrine, gastrointestinal, gynecological, skin, thoracic and urologic cancers and building state-of-the-art research and treatment facilities has made a lifesaving impact in Southern California. In addition, our investment in education through fellowship training ensures that best practices extend beyond our community to improve outcomes and lives throughout the world.

The team at Saint John’s Cancer Institute prioritizes patients and their needs by providing compassionate care. Remembering that each person is unique has initiated cancer care improvements and elevated personalized medicine. Beating cancer by using scientific intelligence together with thoughtful humanity is always our goal. Recruiting a stellar medical and research team, teaching our transformational discoveries and providing unprecedented clinical care at Saint John’s are all made possible through the generosity of our visionary donors.


  • Prevention—eating nutritious foods, maintaining healthy weight, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, protecting skin
  • Detection—regular cancer screenings including mammogram (breast), Pap test (cervical), colonoscopy or stool tests (colon) and low-dose computed tomography (lung)
  • Treatment—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and specialized options recommended by your physician
  • Cure—prevention, detection and specialized treatments increase cancer survival



Beating cancer begins with our brilliant physicians, scientists, nurses and other oncology professionals. Following the leadership founded by legendary oncologist Donald Morton, MD, the culture at Saint John’s Cancer Institute attracts health professionals who venerate Dr. Morton’s accomplishments. The sentinel lymph node biopsy technique for melanoma and breast cancer and the first successful use of immunotherapy—still gamechangers in cancer treatment today—established Dr. Morton as a cancer luminary, as well as his legacy of fellowship training. This rich foundation encourages our innovative physician-scientists and researchers to pursue and apply groundbreaking procedures, technologies and therapies in treating their cancer patients.

With enthusiasm for science coupled with compassionate patient care, our oncology professionals apply novel advances such as minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery and individualized precision medicine and immunotherapy to improve patient’s comfort and quality of life. Demonstrated clinical expertise by our cancer specialists along with trailblazing research published in peer-reviewed journals have established Saint John’s Cancer Institute as a nationally and internationally renowned center for cancer care.

By providing our cancer teams with state-of-the-art facilities and resources, they continue to influence cancer treatments and improve patients’ lives. The benevolence of our philanthropists provides opportunities for progress in cancer treatments. Continued support allows additional breakthroughs until cancer is completely treatable and curable.



Even with headways in cancer treatments and increases in survival rates over the years, hearing a diagnosis of cancer is scary. Being forthright regarding diagnosis and treatment options establishes a trust between physicians and their patients inviting them to communicate their expectations. Holistic medicine is a cornerstone to treatment at Saint John’s Cancer Institute because as innovations in personalized medicine guides treatment, individual lifestyle considerations improve outcomes by considering patients’ comfort and quality of life. Focusing on the unique person, empowers physicians to better treat the cancer.

Using a holistic approach to cancer care extends from physicians to each team member interacting with patients. From administrative and lab personnel to nurses and technicians, our compassionate professionals treat patients with dignity and respect. Along with a caring team, our first-rate health center offers utmost warmth and comfort as we use hi-tech equipment in a modern facility. Our patient-centered care model has gained a reputation for clinical excellence and award-winning care in a tranquil healing environment.

To further support our cancer patients, we provide a nurse navigator to offer knowledge, answer questions, review insurance and coordinate care alleviating some of the stresses cancer patients encounter.2 Genetic counseling is also available for patients and families at risk for cancer. Through our Cancer Support Services Program, cancer survivors have access to wellness services for the physical, emotional, social, mental and spiritual support they may need.

Saint John’s Cancer Institute continues to devote resources to treating the whole person because no one wants to be viewed as a disease when dealing with a life-changing diagnosis. Financial support allows us to treat people compassionately, while fighting cancer relentlessly.



Physicians who treat cancer patients often make observations that lead them to develop questions. Researchers in the lab also form questions based on what they see under the microscope. These curiosities have contributed to transformative discoveries in cancer care. New protocols to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer begin with research. Innovative treatments, therapeutics, drugs, tools, equipment, procedures and even the effects of emotional and spiritual interventions for cancer patients have been researched.

Within Saint John’s Cancer Institute, our various specialties perform leading edge research. Thoracic and Surgical Oncology is advancing a technique to identify gene mutations using blood and urine samples that could change how physicians diagnose, monitor and treat lung cancer. Urology and Urologic Oncology prioritizes identifying biomarkers for early detection of prostate cancer as well as studying a device to monitor tumor cells to detect recurrence. Melanoma, Skin and Soft Tissue Tumors houses a biorepository of melanoma specimens from more than 600,000 patients, plus 1.7 million specimens of other types of cancer for research. This collection is invaluable for collaborative studies with partners around the world.

Clinical trials available at Saint John’s Cancer Institute provide patients access to new treatments before they are available everywhere. Melanoma, Skin and Soft Tissue Tumors has more than 15 active melanoma and skin cancer clinical trials.3 Brain Tumors and Neuroscience has one of the nation’s largest clinical trial portfolios for malignant and aggressive brain tumors. Breast Surgery and Oncology also has a number of clinical trials including investigations in breast conserving therapy and intraoperative radiation therapy.

Research studies and clinical trials at Saint John’s Cancer Institute have initiated standards of care in diagnostics, surgical techniques and immunotherapies for personalized care. Donations given for cancer research at Saint John’s enable physicians and scientists to work together from bench to bedside helping people in all aspects of their cancer care.



Sharing knowledge saves lives. Whether training physicians and surgeons on new medical discoveries or encouraging members of the community to be screened for cancer detection, education is vital to improved care and outcomes. Saint John’s Cancer Institute is committed to expanding instructional opportunities for medical professionals and the public.

Fellowship training with our leading faculty of cancer surgeons and physicians exposes future providers to multifaceted clinical and surgical procedures. Our Thoracic and Surgical Oncology team has trained surgeons from more than 30 countries in minimally invasive video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery surgical techniques. The Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship is a one-year program providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary training for breast cancer care as well as benign breast disease. The Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship emphasizes the minimally invasive keyhole and endonasal approaches, neuro-endoscopy and multimodal neuro-oncology treatments as well as participation in clinical and translational research. The Urologic Oncology Fellowship focuses on minimally invasive robotic surgical techniques and multi-modality care of patients with urologic cancers. Fellowship-trained doctors are specialists who learn best practices and spread their expertise to benefit more patients.

Raising awareness for cancer screenings and early detection, especially in underserved areas, is a priority for Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Screenings can reduce the risk of late-stage cancers and improve survival rates. Outreach includes education and screening programs in neighborhoods where populations may not have access to a doctor or health insurance. Local screening events make it convenient for people to take part and learn cancer prevention tips.

Charitable gifts from our benevolent supporters help fund education for fellowship training and community outreach. From simple screenings to complex surgical techniques, donations accomplish life-altering results.


Financial contributions and endowments enable oncologists and researchers at Saint John’s Cancer Institute to imagine and accomplish advancements in all areas of cancer care. Philanthropy provides the necessary resources for recruiting cancer experts, enhancing clinical care, initiating transformative research studies and clinical trials as well as expanding fellowship training programs and community outreach.

In recent years, immunotherapies and minimally invasive treatments have dramatically improved cancer treatments. Funding is vital for refining new technologies and acquiring the equipment needed to revolutionize cancer therapies. World-class care at Saint John’s Cancer Institute is possible thanks to donors who share our vision of a future where we beat cancer.




Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center