Comprehensive Care

National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive cancer centers must deliver the highest quality integrated cancer diagnosis and cancer care. They must serve the people in their communities. And they must go through the rigorous re-certification process every five years. The highest quality care means the right treatments in the right order to give you the best chance for overcoming your cancer. It means access to clinical trials which use the latest scientific research. And it means combining all parts of your care and support seamlessly.

Only facility in NM offering chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cancer surgery, genetic cancer assessment, clinical trials, supportive care, and a pharmacy under one roof.



Our Radiology team is specialty-trained in cancer imaging. They work closely with the cancer care teams to develop treatment plans. They take part in clinic consultations when needed. Our team offers comprehensive diagnostic imaging, including:

  • multi-detector x-ray computed tomography (CT)
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • PET with diagnostic contrast enhanced CT
  • 3.0 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (3.0 T MRI)


Pathologists measure tissue samples in many ways to arrive at a cancer diagnosis. Our team performs genetic and genomic analyses, too. Their work helps your cancer team link you with the right drugs and treatments.

Pathologists use many different kinds of microscopes, stains, techniques and computer software to look for cancer traits in cells.


Your treatment plan may include all or some of the choices below. Your team will work together to design a plan that will give you the best chance to overcome your cancer. They will take your preferences and wishes into account and will adjust your plan if needed as you go through treatment.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to cure cancer, slow its growth, keep it from spreading or relieve some of the symptoms it causes. The drugs your team prescribes will depend on your cancer and your care plan.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses beams of high energy radiation to kill cancer cells. The radiation beams travel through the body along different paths, but all the paths go through the tumor, giving the tumor cells a higher radiation dose. Our team uses many different methods to get the most radiation to the tumor, while getting the least radiation that they can to normal tissues.

All of our doctors are fellowship trained.
It is the highest training a doctor can receive.

Cancer Surgery

Your care team may suggest cancer surgery to remove part of the tumor to test it. They may suggest surgery to remove the tumor completely. You may choose to have reconstructive surgery after your cancer surgery.

Cancer Genetic Assessment

Some cancers run in families. To learn if your cancer runs in your family, your care team may suggest a cancer genetic assessment. If cancer runs in your family, your team may adjust your treatment to deal with your cancer.


Our NCI Comprehensive designation means we are at the forefront of turning the most promising scientific advances into treatment for people with cancer.

Basic and Translational Research

Our 102 researchers and physician scientists work with New Mexico’s national laboratories and universities around the region, nation and world to break new ground in understanding and combating cancer. These discoveries benefit New Mexicans.

Cancer research at the UNM Cancer Center is organized into three programs. Each program works with our Clinical Research Office to translate discoveries in basic science into cancer treatments.

  • Cancer Control and Population Sciences
    Studies the unique populations of New Mexico to develop, test and share methods that lessen the cancer burden and ultimately improve cancer outcomes in our New Mexico communities and beyond.
  • Cellular and Molecular Oncology
    Seeks to understand the cellular and molecular events that lead to cancer; to discover markers that can be used to predict or diagnose cancer; and to translate these discoveries into treatments.
  • Cancer Therapeutics: Technology, Discovery and Targeted Delivery
    Develops novel platform technologies to identify or repurpose drugs to kill or image cancer cells while causing few side effects.  Nanoparticles and virus-like particles are used to deliver drugs and create vaccines.

Clinical Research

Clinical research helps to create new standards in cancer care, which help to bring life-saving discoveries to everyone. Clinical trials carefully and completely test new treatments in people. Early phase clinical trials test new treatments in people for the first time. Later phases test how well the treatment compares to existing standards of care.

The UNM Cancer Center offers clinical trials to everyone in New Mexico through the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance. And, every patient at UNM Cancer Center may elect to join the Total Cancer Care protocol to donate their tissues and possibly be matched to clinical trials.

Cancer Support

Cancer affects every part of your life. We understand that. That’s why we offer a range of services to help you and your family get through treatment.

Patient Services handles registration, scheduling, medical records and other administrative parts of your care.

Patient Financial Services supports billing questions, financial assistance and prior authorizations for your care.

Patient & Family Support Services offers patient navigation, oncology social work, chaplain services, interpreter services and psychology services.

The Pharmacy Team manages chemotherapy infusions and the onsite pharmacy, where you can get all your prescriptions filled.

Nutrition Services include a consultation and ongoing support to help you eat well so that you can get through treatment.

We offer many more services within these areas. If you need any kind of help, please ask our team.

600 staff members work with our doctors to develop
personalized treatment plans for every patient.