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James L. Rubenstein



Dr. James Rubenstein is a hematologist-oncologist, or a specialist in blood disorders. He has particular expertise in treating patients with neurologic complications from cancer, including patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma involving the brain (called central nervous system lymphoma). He also specializes in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other parts of the body.

In his research, Rubenstein investigates immunologic tools to improve tumor response to chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and to minimize toxicity from treatment. He is also interested in developing tumor biomarkers to diagnose brain tumors.

Rubenstein earned his medical degree at Weill Cornell Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at Stanford Medicine. He earned a doctorate in molecular and cellular neurosciences at the Rockefeller University. He completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCSF, which included training in neuro-oncology.

Rubenstein has won research awards from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the National Cancer Institute. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association for Cancer Research.

  • Education

    Cornell University Medical College, 1992

  • Residencies

    Stanford, Internal Medicine, 1995

  • Fellowships

    UCSF Cancer Research Institute, Hematology/Oncology, 1997

  • Board Certifications

    Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


  • Languages


Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    133 Ratings
    About our process
    Jun 29, 2023
    Care provider explained well answer my question assured me that I will be taken care of.
    Jun 09, 2023
    Wording maybe less multiple emphasis on death from safe procedures for anxious patient...
    May 30, 2023
    Able to talk to care giver with ease.
    May 09, 2023
    Dr Rubenstein is very thorough in coordinating my treatment in and out of the hospital. He always takes time to check in with all of us on the calls. My family and I feel very fortunate that he is my doctor. His expertise with PCNS lymphoma and commitment to an aggressive treatment for me inspires our confidence and trust.
    Apr 14, 2023
    Mar 31, 2023
    Dr Rubenstein is such wonderful Dr. I can't ask more.
    Mar 21, 2023
    Wonderful and insightful experience
    Feb 02, 2023
    I simply admire my care provider James Rubinstein for working with me for over a decade during my battle with my brain cancer. He Is my hero and I would recommend anyone his services.
    Jan 21, 2023
    Nov 10, 2022
    Dr Rubenstein is one of the best. An expert at his height still listens to the needs of patients and family.
    Nov 03, 2022
    Dr Rubenstein is most wonderful MD I ever met.
    Sep 14, 2022
    Dr. Rubenstein was very meticulous about explaining the time that I go back to taking my medication after I was diagnosed with COVID-19.
    Aug 19, 2022
    Dr. Rubenstein continues to be honest truthful and helpful while I've been under his care. He is easy to talks to and treats me with respect.
    Mar 20, 2022
    We had a very productive discussion. We talked about a plan to watch for recurrences of the lymphoma and what treatment options we might consider should that happen. That included Dr Rubenstein being sensitive to the fact that I will never have imaging at UCSF again after a horrible experience at the Parnassus MRI. (Now I go to NorCal which has superior patient care.) We also talked about what I should do if I believed that I had been exposed to COVID. Finally we discussed all of the vitamins and supplements I take to stay healthy. We covered a lot and I appreciate that Dr Rubenstein was able to approach my health from multiple perspectives.
    Mar 12, 2022
    I love everyone
    Feb 12, 2022
    Dr. Rubenstein is incredible. He has taken great care of my health. It's rare to find a doctor that combines such personal touches and care for a patient as a person with outstanding quality of medical care. I highly recommend becoming his patient!
    Dec 18, 2021
    I appreciate that Dr Rubenstein takes extra time to listen to my concerns and discuss the best ways for us to work together. He's been very creative in his approach with me because I'm a difficult patient. He thinks outside the box. That makes a tremendous difference to me because I have a great deal of anxiety when it comes to medical care. I had a lot of very painful childhood vaccinations and blood tests and I need a sense of control if I'm going to have any procedures at all.The heading for this section is "Clinician and Group Experience" but the specific questions deal only with the clinician experience. So the numbers above are very good because I answered honestly. They don't reflect my experience of the group. I feel a loss of control when I come to the clinic. The staff is very busy and they have to work in an efficient manner. That's true in some other UCSF departments as well. Maybe that can't be helped but I can choose not to be on the receiving end of such care and I often do.
    Sep 28, 2021
    I haven't able to get the order from the after visit comments yet but I will ask for help
    Sep 13, 2021
    Dr. Rubenstien is a thoughtful and patient doctor who alsways gives me a thorough check of my condition. He has answered all my questions and explained very well his answers to my questions. I appreciate all of his follow up appointments and would recommend him to anyone who has the same health condition I do.
    Decorative Caduceus

    Feasibility of Acquiring Hyperpolarized Imaging in Patients With Primary CNS Lymphoma

    The Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE version 5.0) will be used to classify and graded any adverse events that occur after the participant has received the hyperpolarized 13C injection.


    Decorative Caduceus

    Tafasitamab Plus Lenalidomide in Relapsed CNS Lymphoma

    Toxicities will be classified using the NCI Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 5.0. The DLT will be based on the tolerability observed during the first cycle. In order for a patient to be assessed for D...