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Hope S. Rugo


Breast oncologist
Medical Director, Cancer Infusion Services

Dr. Hope S. Rugo is a medical hematologist-oncologist who cares for patients with breast cancer. She has been part of UCSF for several decades. Before joining the breast care team in 1999, she cared for patients with blood cancers and those needing bone marrow transplantation. Drawing on her understanding of cancer biology, she entered the field of breast cancer with the goal of incorporating novel therapies into current treatments and improving the quality of care.

Rugo directs UCSF's clinical trials program in breast oncology. In her own research, she is interested in developing immunotherapies and targeted therapies to overcome treatment resistance in breast cancer. She is a principal investigator for multiple clinical trials focusing on improving care for both early- and late-stage breast cancer by combining new and standard treatments. She has also conducted studies on reducing toxic side effects of treatment, which led to the Food and Drug Administration's approval of both scalp-cooling caps that reduce hair loss from chemotherapy and a mouthwash that can lessen mouth inflammation from targeted therapies. She is an active member of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, Alliance Breast Committee and American Society of Clinical Oncology, and serves in leadership roles in various research groups and committees.

Rugo earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. At UCSF, she completed a residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology. She also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in immunology at Stanford University.

Rugo has been recognized for excellence in patient care, education (as a teacher of medical students and doctors in training) and research. Among her honors are an award from the A.P. Giannini Foundation, which supports innovative research; a cancer investigator research award from UCSF; and recognition of her work in breast cancer research by UCSF Breast Care Center. She lectures locally, nationally and internationally on treatment and supportive care for breast cancer. She also runs the UCSF Bay Area Breast Cancer Forum, a bimonthly educational session open to breast cancer patients and their families and friends.

  • Education

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1984

  • Residencies

    UCSF Medical Center, Internal Medicine, 1987

  • Fellowships

    UCSF Medical Center, Hematology and Oncology, 1990

  • Board Certifications

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


  • Languages



Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    254 Ratings
    About our process
    Aug 27, 2023
    We changed treatments and I wished that we had had more of a discussion beforehand so that I could've been better mentally prepared.
    Aug 24, 2023
    There is no finer Breast Oncologist than Dr. Hope Rugo! I feel privileged to be her patient!
    Aug 24, 2023
    Dr Rugo reviewed results of my CTs and showed slides indicating changes. I appreciate her information and her explanations. She was comprehensive and easy to understand.
    Jul 21, 2023
    Dr. Rugo is so exceptional and I feel incredibly honored to be in her care.
    Jul 19, 2023
    Dr Rugo had a way of answering concerns that is clear informative and reassuring. I feel extremely fortunate to have her oversee my care!
    Jun 14, 2023
    Dr. Hope Rugo is the BEST !!!
    Jun 14, 2023
    All the care providers were excellent.
    Jun 07, 2023
    Great visit
    Jun 05, 2023
    Dr. Rugo is amazing. I do not live in the Bay Area anymore but will continue under her care until I am in survivorship.
    May 26, 2023
    It was my first visit w/ the MD and one hour felt a bit hurried.
    May 19, 2023
    Dr. Rugo was exceptional in her knowledge and ability to address my concerns which were complex and nuanced.
    Apr 23, 2023
    Dr Rugo is the most knowledgable person in regards to my cancer.
    Apr 14, 2023
    Dr. Rugo is a brilliant and caring doctor.
    Mar 30, 2023
    Dr Rugo is very thorough polite and concerned. She makes sure all follow up appointments are in order. She provides excellent clear information about the patients condition and her examination findings.
    Mar 22, 2023
    Dr. Rugo was an excellent communicator as always.
    Mar 16, 2023
    Greetings every way!
    Mar 01, 2023
    Very good
    Feb 18, 2023
    I am lucky to have Dr Rugo in my corner and I refer many people with metastatic breast cancer to her for a second opinion
    Feb 17, 2023
    Based upon my experience "Excellent" would be more descriptive than "Very Good
    Feb 16, 2023
    Sometimes the dialogue went faster than I was able to keep up with. For me it was new ground (due to poor care and Communication by a previous provider) even though my diagnosis was not.
    Feb 02, 2023
    Dr. Rugo is so professional. I really feel she listens and wants the best for her patients. I am so thankful to have her for an oncologist. I always feel better after my clinic visit.
    Feb 01, 2023
    Dr Rugo is fantastic! She is brilliant and listens carefully to my input. I feel so blessed to have her as my oncologist.
    Jan 16, 2023
    My only complaint is with scheduling an appointment. I had difficulty getting through to the scheduler. I had to wait quite awhile for a follow up appointment after having a biopsy. The long wait and lack of communication made me anxious. I just would have appreciated a follow up call or message on MyChart letting me know they are working on scheduling an appointment. This was over the busy holiday so I'm sure this could have contributed but it does seem to take some time to get questioned answered on MyChart.
    Nov 30, 2022
    Dr Rugo is excellent. She is exceptionally intelligent spends time with me exploring treatment options is compassionate and caring and always makes me feel better when I leave my meeting with her.
    Nov 30, 2022
    Dr. Rugo was excellent in her discussion of the issues and her compassion.
    Nov 16, 2022
    Dr Rugo is the expert I will have her to take the lead for my care.
    Nov 09, 2022
    Dr Rugo is extremely brilliant and compassionate. I am lucky beyond words to have her as my oncologist.
    Oct 07, 2022
    Dr. Rugo was very calm and spoke very professionally. She discussed the medication I am taking for cancer and any concerns regarding side effects. She discussed medication that I use to prevent nausea while taking Versenio.
    Sep 16, 2022
    The care provider was rude and spoke to me very gruffly. If this doesn't stop Im going elsewhere for breast cancer care.
    Sep 14, 2022
    I am in good hands
    Jul 15, 2022
    Doctor Rugo is outstanding in her care concern attention communications and expertise.
    Jul 11, 2022
    Just Dr. Rugo was constantly on volate texting about other patients during my visit. Every time I tired to ask questions it was Interrupted by her texting. I felt like my concerns were In her while In the room. I forgot I had other questions to ask because of that after I left. Felt like I was being condone at times because I had reached out on my chart but she says I never did reach out but I told her that that support nurses said they asked you.
    Apr 13, 2022
    This provider is exceptionally good. She listens attentively and is very smart. I am extremely lucky to have her as my care provider.
    Apr 09, 2022
    Mar 31, 2022
    Great Doctor! Please work on time management- if possible
    Mar 05, 2022
    I am very lucky and feel very secure with Dr Rugo
    Mar 02, 2022
    Feb 28, 2022
    Still exploring treatment options and test results. No follow up care can be provided at this time as my case is still in the exploratory phase
    Feb 16, 2022
    Dr Rugo is best!
    Feb 13, 2022
    I wished for a few minutes more
    Jan 13, 2022
    As always I am impressed with Dr. Rugo's ability to remember the salient details from previous visits thus insuring continuity of care.
    Dec 16, 2021
    Blessed to have Dr. Rugo taking care of my situation. I was hoping for a little more time with her and less time waiting and with another MD.
    Nov 25, 2021
    I have already recommended a friend in CA to get a second opinion from Dr. Rugo. I am convinced that she is best breast cancer expert in the area.
    Nov 03, 2021
    She really dominates her field of knowledge.
    Decorative Caduceus

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