Established in 1991, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – a highly competitive designation reserved for those cancer centers across the nation that meet the highest of standards in research, treatment, prevention and education and are successful in completing a rigorous review process every five years.
NCI-designated centers may be freestanding organizations, aligned with an academic institution or with other institutions as part of a consortium. Construction will begin in 2020 on a freestanding cancer pavilion on our New Brunswick campus that will house research, clinical and other key areas of Rutgers Cancer Institute, enabling our team to care for patients in a more comprehensive manner and more rapidly translate research discoveries into tomorrow’s cancer therapies.
Together with RWJBarnabas Health, we offer advanced cancer treatment options including immunotherapy and precision medicine across the Garden State. Working in concert with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick – one of 11 acute care hospitals in the RWJBarnabas Health system – we are only one of two locations in the state to offer proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and bone marrow transplantation, which requires an intricate level of care. Included among these treatment options are clinical trials. Partnership with the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium – cancer centers associated with universities in the Big Ten athletic conference – and membership in the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network ® (ORIEN) afford our investigators opportunities to share information and develop clinical trials with national collaborators.
Some of these clinical trials are fueled by onsite research. Our physician-scientists collaborate on scientific investigation with numerous partners including those from industry, academia and the healthcare realm in order to address the challenges of cancer in our state. One such collaborator is Princeton University, which is our NCI-approved research consortia partner.
The term Consortium Cancer Center is applied to an NCI-designated center and a non-designated partner. Our consortium partnership with Princeton University is one of 16 in the nation, and is the only one in which the parent designated cancer center is located in New Jersey. As a result of this relationship, scientific advances in the areas of cancer metabolism, genomics and the spread of cancer have contributed to impactful clinical progress. The close geographic proximity between Rutgers and Princeton enhances the interactions and meaningful collaborations within this unique consortium and brings together the largest public and private universities in New Jersey dedicated to a common mission.
Rutgers Cancer Institute is also part of an important collaboration with other Rutgers University units and investigators. Recently funded through a competitive $4-million National Institutes of Health grant (U01 HL150852-01) as part of the Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) program, an initiative known as the Rutgers Optimizes Innovation (ROI) Program is being developed at the state university. The Rutgers REACH hub will encompass infrastructure and resources to enable more efficient and timely translation of promising biomedical research innovations, including those that have an impact on cancer. This hub is part of a national network of ‘proof-of-concept’ centers linking 34 academic institutions to develop biomedical discoveries into innovative solutions that contribute to the betterment of public health.
And working jointly with the New Jersey Department of Health and regional healthcare providers and organizations, Rutgers Cancer Institute continues to lead the ScreenNJ program, which has statewide reach and is focused on education, outreach and navigation to increase colon and lung cancer screening rates.
Whether locally, regionally, nationally or beyond, Rutgers Cancer Institute, together with RWJBarnabas Health, continues to work collaboratively with multiple partners to reduce the cancer burden and help keep patients close to home.
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