City of Hope, the national Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Duarte, California, on September 12, 2023, announced a $100 million gift from Andrew and Peggy Cherng, co-founders and co-CEOs of Panda Express, to create a national integrative oncology program that will unite Eastern and Western medicine to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients with cancer and survivors.1
The gift will establish the Cherng Family Center for Integrative Oncology at City of Hope. This first-of-its-kind center will take a whole-person approach to cancer care, integrating traditional Chinese medicine and other Eastern healing arts with Western medical approaches. According to a statement from City of Hope, “rigorous research on Eastern therapies could result in evidence-based insights that fuel the development of more effective cancer medicines and care.”
A joint guideline from the Society of Integrative Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology estimated that 40% of patients with cancer rely on integrative therapies each year to address their disease or treat pain.2 These therapies can improve quality of life and offer the best possible clinical outcomes, but a lack of evidence often means that health care organizations and cancer centers do not offer access to them under physician supervision.
City of Hope’s new center “will make integrative oncology an evidence-based, interwoven standard of care that supports optimal cancer treatment and survivorship,” according to the announcement.1
“We are grateful for this gift, which will allow us to lead the way in integrative oncology and continue to pioneer compassionate medical innovation as we have done at City of Hope for more than 100 years,” said Robert Stone, CEO of City of Hope and the Helen and Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair. “Innovative and holistic care is part of our culture and mission; we are committed to supporting and treating the whole patient—not just the cancer. I am honored that our cancer expertise, world-class research environment, national patient population, robust clinical trials program and compassionate ethos have prepared City of Hope to lead this work.”
Richard T. Lee, MD, Cherng Family Director's Chair for the Center for Integrative Oncology at City of Hope and an expert in integrative oncology, will lead development of the center, which will advance research, education and clinical care in the following ways:
The Cherngs’ gift is the largest single philanthropic gift ever for cancer care to City of Hope and the largest ever by the Panda Charitable Family Foundation. The gift comes on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Panda Restaurant Group.