Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center

One of only seven National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in the nation.
NCI-Designated Cancer Center Advisory Board group photo

Taking aim at cancer

“Our Cancer Center is committed to performing impactful translational multi-disciplinary research that addresses unmet clinical needs relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

– Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., Center Director

Director's Statement


Achieving our goals through collaboration

Our scientists are always looking for novel ideas, partners and new ways of doing groundbreaking research to target cancer.


Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program

Understanding the cells that give rise to tumors and the signals allowing them to expand uncontrollably will help us learn how to defeat cancer.

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Cancer, Molecules and Structures Program

Insights into the complex system of networks and mechanisms that tumors use to survive and proliferate will lead us to tumor-specific, less toxic therapies.

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Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Immunology Program

We are studying the interplay among cancer cells, immune cells and their environment to put the brakes on cancer.

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Latest news

Cancer Center brochure

Learn more about the Cancer Center in our newly updated brochure.

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BI1071, a Novel Nur77 Modulator, Induces Apoptosis of Cancer Cells by Activating the Nur77-Bcl-2 Apoptotic Pathway.

Chen X, Cao X, Tu X, Alitongbieke G, Xia Z, Li X, Chen Z, Yin M, Xu D, Guo S, Li Z, Chen L, Zhang X, Xu D, Gao M, Liu J, Zeng Z, Zhou H, Su Y, Zhang XK

Mol Cancer Ther 2019 May ;18(5):886-899

The histone chaperone HIRA promotes the induction of host innate immune defences in response to HSV-1 infection.

McFarlane S, Orr A, Roberts APE, Conn KL, Iliev V, Loney C, da Silva Filipe A, Smollett K, Gu Q, Robertson N, Adams PD, Rai TS, Boutell C

PLoS Pathog 2019 Mar ;15(3):e1007667

Ubiquitin Ligases in Cancer Immunotherapy - Balancing Antitumor and Autoimmunity.

Fujita Y, Tinoco R, Li Y, Senft D, Ronai ZA

Trends Mol Med 2019 May ;25(5):428-443


Pten Deficiency Leads To Proteasome Addiction, A Novel Vulnerability In Glioblastoma.

Benitez JA, Finlay D, Castanza A, Parisian AD, Ma J, Longobardi C, Campos A, Vadla R, Izurieta A, Scerra G, Koga T, Long T, Chavez L, Mesirov JP, Vuori K, Furnari F

Neuro Oncol 2021 Jan 11 ;

Serine-threonine kinase TAO3-mediated trafficking of endosomes containing the invadopodia scaffold TKS5α promotes cancer invasion and tumor growth.

Iizuka S, Quintavalle M, Navarro JC, Gribbin KP, Ardecky RJ, Abelman MM, Ma CT, Sergienko E, Zeng FY, Pass I, Thomas GV, McWeeney SK, Hassig CA, Pinkerton AB, Courtneidge SA

Cancer Res 2021 Jan 7 ;

Harnessing the Co-vulnerabilities of Amino Acid-Restricted Cancers.

Pathria G, Ronai ZA

Cell Metab 2021 Jan 5 ;33(1):9-20

Development of an orally-administrable tumor vasculature-targeting therapeutic using annexin A1-binding D-peptides.

Nonaka M, Mabashi-Asazuma H, Jarvis DL, Yamasaki K, Akama TO, Nagaoka M, Sasai T, Kimura-Takagi I, Suwa Y, Yaegashi T, Huang CT, Nishizawa-Harada C, Fukuda MN

PLoS One 2021 ;16(1):e0241157

An Orthotopic Implantation Mouse Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Underlying Liver Steatosis.

Kasashima H, Duran A, Cid-Diaz T, Kudo Y, Diaz-Meco MT, Moscat J

STAR Protoc 2020 Dec 18 ;1(3):100185

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