Yale Cancer Center, Patient Care


About us

The Yale Cancer Center (YCC) was founded in 1974 as a result of an act of Congress in 1971 which declared the nation's “war on cancer.” It is one of a select network of 39 Comprehensive Cancer Centers throughout the country, designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in southern New England. The Cancer Center brings together the resources of the Yale University School of Medicine (YSM), Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), and Yale University.

In the history of cancer treatment, Yale is perhaps best known as the institution where cancer chemotherapy and the entire field of cancer drug development was discovered and the very first cancer drug was administered. However, that was only one milestone in a long and rich legacy in cancer research. In the early 1900s, Dr. Ross Harrison developed the first methods for growing tumor cells in flasks on nutrient media. This development signaled an important advancement and led to considerable progress in understanding how tumors develop and grow.

In 1921, Dr. Francesc Duran i Reynals succeeded in producing different types of sarcomas in animal model studies by overcoming the species barriers of certain oncogenic viruses. Dr. William Gardner's studies on steroid hormones and their role in experimental carcinogenesis added another dimension to our understanding of malignant disease. Led by Dr. Richard Edelson, Director of Yale Cancer Center, the first FDA approved selective immunotherapy treatment for any type of cancer, Transimmunization, was also developed at Yale.

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