The Leon Berard Cancer Center advances understanding and treatment of cancer through a multidisciplinary, integrated, and collaborative community of physicians and scientists. The Center was founded in Lyon, France in 1945. Since then, it has become one of the best-in-class non-profit hospitals in the south of France, fully and exclusively dedicated to fighting cancer. It is affiliated with the French National Cancer Centre Federation, UNICANCER, which brings together 20 centers in France, 100% dedicated to oncology. The Centre provides a unique area for global management of cancer patients, with multidisciplinary specialists and researchers.  

The Leon Berard Cancer Center employs 200 highly specialized doctors and 550 researchers with national and international recognition. It has 230 beds for hospitalization, 11 operating theaters, 8 accelerators for radiotherapy, and a Cyberknife®.

Cancer management, from diagnosis to the most innovative treatments, also takes into account nutrition, psychological, and rehabilitation aspects adapted to each patient.

Annually, the hospital’s medical teams provide 80,000 consultations, receive 33,000 patients, organize 3,450 ambulatory surgeries, ad 11,975 surgical interventions, and prepare more than 78,000 chemotherapy treatments per year. Highly specialized medical and surgical consultations, reference imagery, and recognized competence in oncology guarantee patients the best management of their conditions and the best health outcomes possible.

National and International Certifications

In 2017, the Leon Berard Cancer Center was certified in 2017 the Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI), a non-governmental, non-profit legal entity established in 1979 to promote greater cooperation among European Cancer Centers and Institutes. The OECI is presently regrouping 78 members, collaborating to reduce fragmentation and give all European cancer patients the possibility of receiving the best available care.

The Center obtained the V2014 certification of Health Establishments in February 2016, without reservation. With 90% of “A” criteria, it is certified without recommendation by the HAS, the French National Authority for Health.

Extensive satisfaction surveys are also regularly conducted by independent organizations to improve the Center’s capacity to meet patients’ requirements and thereby improve the hospital organization.

One of Frances Best Hospitals

The Leon Berard Cancer Center was listed as one of France’s best cancer hospitals in 2017 by the leading French weekly newsmagazine, Le Point. The magazine’s hospital ranking is established and influential and presents an annual report of France’s hospitals and health care providers.

Le Points 2017 national ranking by specialty area among hospitals and clinics


  • 8th: ENT cancers
  • 13th: Breast cancers
  • 24th: Pancreatic and liver cancers
  • 25th: Gynecologic cancers
  • 30th: Dermatological cancers

The Leon Berard Cancer Center is a hospital 100% dedicated to oncology. Its mission is to provide excellence and referral management to individuals who have cancer.

Main Medical and Surgical Services


The Center offers imaging facilities (radiology and interventional radiology), nuclear medicine, diagnostic endoscopy, and a bio-pathology unit that provides anatomical-pathological and molecular biology techniques.


Available treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone-therapy, targeted therapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiology, and endoscopy.

Therapeutic and diagnostic innovation:

More than 22% of the patients managed at the Leon Berard Cancer Center are enrolled in clinical trials.

Ancillary services:

The Center also offers supportive care, including psychology, pain management, dietetics, physiotherapy, social work, adapted physical activity, socio-esthetics, optimized health care pathways according to pathology (i.e., lung, breast, head, and neck) and tailored to patients’ age (i.e., children, young adults, over 70).

The Center specializes in complex and rare tumors. It has 16 fully renovated inpatient units and a high-tech platform. The Center provides resources, expertise, and referrals for:

  • Breast cancers
  • Sarcomas and rare tumors
  • Rare gynecological tumors
  • Complex digestive tumors
  • Thoracic tumors
  • Blood cancers
  • Head and neck tumors
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Metastatic kidney tumors
  • Non-surgical treatments for prostate cancers
  • Solid tumors in children
  • Pediatric radiotherapy
  • Complex radiotherapy treatments

Service to the population:

To ensure its mission of service to the population, the Center has built structural partnerships with:

  • The Lyon University Hospitals (Hospices civils de Lyon), which provide care for all pathologies; the Center manages a nuclear medicine center (LUMEN) and the Hematology and Oncology Pediatric Institute (IHOPe).
  • The General Hospital in Villefranche-sur-Saône; the Center manages the Beaujolais radiotherapy center (two accelerators)

The CLB is recognized for its expertise by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa). Notably, it is a national and European referral center for ovarian cancer and sarcomas.

  • National Expert Reference Center for Ovarian Cancer (Dr. Isabelle Ray Coquard)
  • National Expert Reference Center for Sarcomas (Pr. Jean-Yves Blay)

The Committee of Nosocomial Infections control (CLIN), the pain control committee (CLUD), the food and nutrition committee (CLAN), and surveillance data are gathered within the surveillance, risk management and security and quality (COVIRISQ) Committee. The different bodies are in charge of working towards resolving particular risks (i.e., nosocomial infections for the CLIN or medicinal risk for pharmacovigilance) and for taking steps to improve the Center’s quality management and global quality policies.

Equipment and Facilities

High-tech equipment unique in the region:

  • The Cyberknife® VSI System
  • The miniaturized Intrabeam accelerator
  • Two Tomotherapy systems
  • Proton therapy and SynchroCycloproton: a Lyon-Nice cooperation patient service
  • A fully equipped angiography Zeego Artis Q room (Interventional Radiology)
  • A cutting-edge integrated surgical unit
  • Theaters dedicated to interventional procedures, endoscopy, and curie therapy
  • A chemotherapy preparation unit
  • Nuclear medicine: bone scans and PET scans
  • Senology center

Research, teaching, and innovation are important elements of the Center’s mission to provide the best care and its commitment to continuous improvement in collaboration with university faculties and international and national research organizations.

Thanks to a 30-year development strategy, more than 500 researchers work side by side in a 15,000 m2 building dedicated to research. This combination reinforces the care-research continuum by facilitating innovation and speeding up access to patients for diagnoses and therapies.

These teams publish more 400 scientific studies per year and participate in more than 25 clinical trials and eight transnational research platforms (sequencing, immunotherapy, bioinformatics, drug modeling).

To facilitate innovation and accelerate its accessibility to patients, both in diagnostic and therapeutic terms, the Center is organized in three hubs:

  1. Basic research within the Cancer Research Center of Lyon (CRCL),
  2. Translational research, and
  3. Clinical research.

A platform for the management of biological samples (PGEB) from the Center has been certified NFS 96 900 since November 2009. Since early 2012, it has hosted biological collections from the UNICANCER group. The clinical research has been ISO 9001 certified since 2013.

Clinical research is thus one of the institution’s strengths. The Center has been certified by the National Cancer Institute (INCa) as an oncology early clinical trial center since 2012 and since 2015 for pediatric oncology.