Translating Innovative Science into Compassionate, Patient-Centric Care

Saint John’s Cancer Institute is renowned for advancing therapeutics, translational science, and establishing standards of care. We foster robust fellowship programs, implement and initiate clinical trials, and collaborate with academic and industry partners worldwide.

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Innovation Starts Here

Saint John’s Cancer Institute (SJCI) is a pioneer in drug discovery, therapeutics, clinical trials, and research. SJCI established the Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy under the late Dr. Donald L. Morton, which has become the standard of lymph node care for melanoma and breast cancer worldwide.

Today, our patients continue to have access to innovative treatments, therapeutics, and trials. We are at the forefront of understanding the biology of cancer as well as expanding treatment for under-served communities.

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Dr. Ora Gordon Spotlights the Promise of MCED – Multi-Cancer Early Detection

With a single blood test, as many as 50 different types of cancer can be identified before symptoms appear.

“The goal is to detect cancer early when it can be cured.”

– Ora Gordon, MD, FACMGG

Learn more and listen to Dr. Gordon explain how MCED is changing oncologic care.

Blog, Video (3:10): Dr. Ora Gordon Spotlights the Promise of MCED – Multi-Cancer Early Detection

Ora Gordon, MD - MCED - Multi-cancer Detection Spotlight

National Cancer Survivors Day at Providence, Saint John’s in Santa Monica

Saint John’s and support groups collaborate to embrace the community for a day of celebration on Sunday, June 9th, 2024.

“This love is what we bring every day. The work that we do is wonderful because we get to watch you rise.”

– Dr. Shanthi Gowrinathan

Watch a summary of the event including statements from the Mayor of Santa Monica.

Blog, Video (3:40): National Cancer Survivors Day at Providence, Saint John’s in Santa Monica, California

National Cancer Survivors Day - Saint John's Health Center

Diagnosed with Glioblastoma: Kevin and Candice Hodges share their journey of hope.

Dr. Naveed Wagle and Dr. Akanksha Sharma discuss Kevin’s progress after his clinical trial and the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach.

“You have to be able to pick the right agent at the right time, and that comes with knowing how to treat these kinds of cancers.”

– Naveed Wagle, MD

Listen to Kevin and Candice explain what made the difference for them.

Blog, Video (33:15): Surviving Glioblastoma: Hope is an Important Part of the Journey.

Kevin and Candice Hodges - Glioblastoma featured - Saint John's Cancer Institute

Mens Health Week: Meet Ramkishen Narayanan, MD

Dr. Timothy Wilson interviews returning mentee, Dr. Ramkishen Narayanan, in his New Role.

“What strikes me is your passion for health care. The way you manage your patients and interact with them, and treat them as family. I really see that here, every day.”

– Timothy Wilson, MD

Learn more about Dr. Narayanan and how Saint John’s works with Saint Joseph and the Disney Family Cancer Center.

Blog, Video (20:35): The Future of Urology is Brimming with Talent at Providence, Saint John’s and Saint Joseph’s, just ask expert, Dr. Timothy Wilson.

Dr. Ramkishen Narayanan interviews with Dr. Timothy Wilson

Tanner Returns to Saint John’s

Having Stage-4 melanoma with brain metastasis, Tanner meets with Doctors, Timothy Kristedja, medical oncologist, and Trevan Fischer, surgical oncologist, four years after his initial treatment.

“There’s no cancer that doesn’t benefit from early detection.”

– Trevan Fischer, MD

Listen to Tanner and his doctors assess how his current treatments are going, including his recent brain scan with Dr. Garni Barkhoudarian, MD.

Blog, Video (14:30): Metastatic Melanoma Thriver Talks Ongoing Treatment with Saint John’s Multidisciplinary Care Team.

HIFU Therapy is Making a Difference in Men’s Health

Dr. Mehran Movassaghi, a board-certified and fellowship-trained urologist, reached another significant milestone; 100 successful HIFU treatments using the Focal One Robotic System for early-stage prostate cancer.

“Men in our community now have greater options to treat prostate cancer. This out-patient procedure, which is a one-time session, is making a real difference. There’s no cutting or recovery involved.”

– Mehran Movassaghi, MD

Learn more about the significance of this milestone and how this procedure is reducing surgical complications and related side effects.

News: Dr. Mehran Movassaghi Reached 100 HIFU Treatments for Prostate Cancer Using the Focal One Robotic System.

Focal One - Movassaghi & Team - 100th Success Case

Dr. Hyo Park Brings Comfort to a Stage 3 Uterine Cancer Survivor

Relieved, Yvonne Kalman Reflects On Her Care, and as a Patient of Dr. Sean Fischer.

“Not all doctors are the same, but these are two outstanding doctors and I’m very grateful that they’re under the same roof at Saint John’s, and I’m very grateful that I’m a patient here.”

– Yvonne Kalman

Learn more about Dr. Park’s approach and how Yvonne felt about her surgery.

Blog, Video: (8:40): Treatment for Stage 3 Uterine Cancer at Saint John’s Health Center

Dr Park and her patient Yvonne - Saint John's Cancer Institute

7-month-old Baby Receives a Bilateral Cochlear Implant Performed by Dr. Courtney Voelker

Saint John’s continues to innovate, bringing academic-level care to patients in a community hospital setting.

“The earlier that a parent can get their child to a specialist for identification, as well as intervention, the better.”

– Courtney Voelker, MD, Ph.D.

Listen to Dr. Voelker recap Zara’s surgery.

NEWS, VIDEO (02:35): 7-month-old Baby Receives a Bilateral Cochlear Implant Performed by Dr. Courtney Voelker

Dr. Courtney Voelker performs bilateral cochlear impants - Saint John's Health Center

Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Doctors, Kim Margolin, Przemyslaw Twardowski, Leland Foshag, Parvin Peddi, Santosh Kesari, and Emma Chacon, RN, Discuss the Impact of Clinical Trials and Advancement of Medical Science.

“…And the drugs that we’re developing are really targeted therapeutics and immunotherapy, so they select for patients who
have certain markers. And as we do more trials, we find out that some patients respond better than others because of those markers.”

– Santosh Kesari, MD

Learn more and listen to some of the principal investigators at Saint John’s Cancer Institute.

Blog, Video (16:45): International Clinical Trials Day: Hear from the experts in cutting-edge research

International Clinical Trials Day: Hear from the experts in cutting-edge research

Dr. Santosh Kesari - Pacific Neurosciences Institute - Saint John's Cancer Institute

Multi-cancer Early Detection (MCED) Testing

Providence is offering Multi-cancer Early Detection (MCED) testing to empower providers and the public with a blood test that can detect a shared cancer signal across 50+ types of cancer through a simple blood draw.

“Providence is committed to collaborations that provide individuals with the best evidence-based care including advancements like early cancer screenings that can improve patient outcomes.”

– Ora K. Gordon, MD, Regional Medical Director of Providence’s Clinical Genetics & Genomics Program

Providers are encouraged to request a test kit for eligible patients. See list of detectable cancers.

News: Providence Offers Multi-cancer Early Detection (MCED) Testing


Open or Actively Recruiting Clinical Trials

Brain Cancer and Solid Tumors Clinical Trials

Principal Invenstigator: Dr. Akanksha Sharma: Learn more.

Breast Cancer: Precision Medicine

Principal Invenstigator: Dr. Parvin Peddi: Learn more.

Melanoma Cancer: Drug Trials:

Principal Investgator: Dr. Kim Margolin: Learn more.

Prostate Cancer: White Button Mushroom

Principal Invenstigator: Dr. Przemyslaw Twardowski: Learn more.

Current Trials

Search using key terms or filter by Centers of Excellence or by Lead Doctor. Learn more.

Saint John's Cancer Institute - Featured Clinical Trials

Saint John’s: A Legacy of Care Excellence

Major Healthcare Awards for 2023 and 2024

“All of these achievements reflect the outstanding care our caregivers and physicians provide to our patients each and every day, …providing leading-edge, award-winning care in a compassionate, community hospital setting.”

– Michael Ricks, CEO, Saint John’s Health Cancer and Institute

Healthgrades – America’s 250 Best Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, including
America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery and Joint Replacement, and Five-star ratings in six specialties: Total Knee Replacement, Total Hip replacement, Hip Fracture, Pneumonia, Bowel Obstruction and Sepsis, U.S. News & World Report – Best Hospital for Maternity Care 2024, Top Six Hospitals in Los Angeles County and Orange County, Recognized among the top 15 “Best Hospitals” in California, and Newsweek – World’s Best Hospitals 2024

About Us, Awards: Saint John’s Health Center Awards

Saint John's Health Center, 2023-2024 Awards

Research Provides Objective Understanding

2023 Research Publications: Collaboration continues to be the driver of critical findings

“This report shows the collaborative aspects of translational oncology research with cancer centers around the world, demonstrating our continual devotion to improving patient care and finding innovative approaches to curing cancer.”

– Dr. Dave S.B. Hoon, Director of SJCI Translational Research

Learn more and download the Saint John’s Cancer Institute Research Spotlight, 2023.

Blog, PDF: 2023 Research Publications: The Field of Oncology Moves Through Collaboration

SJCI Research Spotlight Report 2023

A Legacy of Research Excellence

Donald L. Morton, Surgical Oncologist best known for developing sentinel lymph node evaluation

“He was ahead of his peers in anticipating the genetics era of cancer research, for decades he carefully maintained archival specimen resource for correlative translational studies.”

– Laura Morton Rowe, Chief Human Resources Officer, Saint John’s Health Center

Learn more about the Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship.

OVERVIEW & VIDEO (18:43): Learn more about the Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship.

Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship - Saint John's Cancer Institute

Fellowship Programs

Breast Surgical Oncology
Surgical Oncology
Translational Molecular Medicine

Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship

The Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute provides a diverse and comprehensive exposure to the multidisciplinary aspects of breast cancer care and benign breast disease over a one-year time period with a potential second year for continuation of clinical or basic science research.


Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship

With a longstanding history of excellence in multidisciplinary cancer care and research, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute continues its legacy in surgical oncology through the Donald L. Morton Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship.

Learn more about this fellowship

Neurosurgical Fellowship

This training program focuses on endonasal endoscopic and keyhole surgical approaches, neuro-endoscopy, pituitary tumor management and multimodality neuro-oncology treatments.

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Postdoctoral Lab-Based Translational Molecular Medicine Fellowship

As pioneers in translational studies on “liquid biopsies” involving circulating tumor cells in multiple types of solid tumors, the fellowship program also consists of studying epigenetic mechanisms regulating solid tumor as well as pharmacogenomics and immunogenomic based prediction of response to therapy.

Learn more about this fellowship

Urologic Oncology Fellowship

Providing world class, multidisciplinary training in genitourinary malignancies and urologic oncology research with innovative and cutting edge technology.

Learn more about this fellowship
Breast Oncology Fellowship - Saint John's Cancer Institute
Donal L Morton - Saint Johns Cancer Institute
neuroscience fellowship
translational molecular medicine
davinci Xi surgical robot

Saint John's Health Center
Saint John's Health Center Foundation
Pacific Neuroscience Institute
Associate of Breast and Prostate and Prostate Cancer Studies