San Francisco Campus Opens New Cancer Care Center

By Eric Althoff

SAN FRANCISCO—The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has opened the Precision Cancer Medicine Building (PCMB) as the centerpiece of its cancer care practice at the university’s Mission Bay medical campus. 

The 170,000-square-foot facility will integrate research and clinical care at a state-of-the-art facility encompassing 120 examination and consultation rooms, 47 infusion bays for chemotherapy and 19 types of imaging services. The Precision Cancer Medicine Building will also include 20 consultation rooms for supportive programs such as genetic counseling, nutrition and dietary consultations, social work, psycho-oncology, complementary medicine and symptom management. 

PCMB features a patient resource center with specialized areas for yoga, exercise classes, physical therapy, support groups and financial counseling as well. 

Design firm Stantec provided design and programming services, as well as served as integrated design delivery partner for the project, with San Carlos, California-based Rudolf & Sletten serving the project as general contractor.

Stantec’s plan for the inside and outside of the building included what the company described as its four “design principles”: precision, transparency, integration and activation.  “Precision” means utilizing a combination of glass and metal to create fluid coupling.  Furthermore, windows and walls are angled such that the eye is naturally drawn toward them.  “Transparency” in Stantec’s paradigm means that patients and visitors will be able to see into and out of the PCMB, thus removing some of the mystery and “humanizing” cancer treatment.  “Integration” means that the facility strives to create a unified patient experience, and “activation” is defined as Stantec’s belief in making the building “visually accessible” to the community. 

The design firm has said that PCMB will deliver “precision medicine,” wherein treatment is tailored as best as possible to the individual patient based on his or her genetic information, i.e., the “signature” of each tumor.  In the PCMB layout, top researchers, oncologists, surgeons and other clinicians will work together under one roof to effect speedy treatment delivery to all patients. 

“From screening and counseling, to communication and education, through targeted treatments, it is the entire journey that makes up a patient’s personalized experience with cancer,” Rory Picklyk, vice president in Stantec’s Buildings practice, said in a recent statement about his firm’s paradigm as it relates to the new California project.  “PCMB is the physical culmination and reflection of that journey, and we are proud to have led its design.  This is a building set to redefine precise cancer care—not only for San Francisco residents—but nationally, and we are humbled to play a part in bringing it to life.”

The UCSF Mission Bay medical campus includes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital and UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital.  The new PCMB facility will serve approximately 700 patients per day, Stantec said.