The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center was established and designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center in 1973.   By 2008, the cancer center was distinguished by the NCI as a comprehensive cancer center.  This designation is the highest classification that a cancer center can receive from the NCI, and it is an indication of the scope and extent of the University of Chicago Medicine's dedication to multidisciplinary research and scientific leadership.  As of 2015, the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only forty-five such centers in the United States, and one of only two such centers in Illinois.

In 1992, the Section of Hematology/Oncology embarked on the development of a Cancer Risk Clinic to serve as a focal point for studies of familial cancer syndromes and inherited cancer susceptibility genes. Since then, the clinic has grown to be a model, fully-comprehensive cancer risk assessment and prevention program which integrates clinical care with research opportunities.

In 1999, the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics was created as a joint effort by the departments of Medicine, Human Genetics, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. The center facilitates access to genetic testing protocols, genetic counseling, and clinical research trials in early detection and prevention strategies.  In addition, the center has developed recruitment strategies to expand the numbers and the diversity of patients seen in the Cancer Risk Clinic and participating in clinical research trials focused on behavioral modification and cancer prevention.

The University of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and the Cancer Risk Clinic have become nationally known as a leading program that combines clinical care with the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research. The Cancer Risk Clinic records an annual visit of about 300 patients with more than 2000 extended families in our database.