A leader in translational research, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center combines scientific research and discovery with medical knowledge and expertise to provide groundbreaking care to patients diagnosed with the most challenging diseases, including malignant pleural mesothelioma. Associated with Northwestern University Memorial Hospital, the facility is not just an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, but one of only 56 facilities identified as such that is also recognized for its “scientific leadership, resources, and depth and breadth of its research.”
The Lurie Cancer Center is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a collaboration of 32 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to defining and advancing high-quality cancer care. The affiliated Feinberg School of Medicine’s Division of Hematology and Oncology has been certified by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative for meeting the highest standards for quality in cancer care.
Facts about the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
U.S. News & World Report ranks Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as one of its Best Hospitals for Cancer.
The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first and only proton therapy center in the state of Illinois.
The facility’s Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program performs over 350 transplants each year, delivering patient outcomes that exceed the national survival rate.
Lurie Cancer Center is part of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, a network of academic institutions leveraging the scientific and clinical expertise of each of their universities to work together on clinical trials.
Lurie Cancer Center is a Lead Academic Participating Site (LAPS), a designation from the National Cancer Institute that indicates scientific leadership in the development and conduct of clinical research.
The center received $46 million in NCI funding and $74 million in other funding for direct costs. The program is currently running over 300 clinical trials.
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center is an integral part of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Northwestern was first created in 1972 as a consolidation of two of Chicago’s oldest established hospitals, Passavant Memorial and Wesley Memorial Hospitals. Both of those facilities were formed as small charitable institutions during the 19th century to provide for the sick and needy and eventually grew into modern medical facilities providing diagnosis and care as well as conducting research. Many of Passavant’s staff included faculty from Northwestern and Rush universities, and Wesley Hospital and Northwestern University’s medical school became affiliated in 1890.
Over the years, the two hospitals served as the primary teaching hospitals for Northwestern University Medical School and soon began collaborating on clinical services and teaching programs, sharing facilities, group practices, and nursing schools. The two consolidated in 1972 and the cancer center opened in 1974.
In 1990, philanthropist Robert Lurie was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. Though initially told the cancer would take his life within six months, the care provided by Dr. Steve Rosen at Northwestern University Cancer Center gave him two years beyond that initial prognosis. Before his death, he and his wife Ann discussed endowing the Cancer Center, and Dr. Rosen suggested that the center should bear Lurie’s name. The name Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center was adopted in 1997 when the center was awarded National Cancer Institute designation as a comprehensive cancer center.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Treatment at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Lurie Cancer Center has a robust lung and thoracic cancer treatment center that cares for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, thymoma, and thymic carcinomas. While standard treatments including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are offered, the cancer center also offers immunotherapy and targeted therapy based on the individual patient’s diagnosis and genetic makeup, and new types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials. Treatment is supported by a world-class multidisciplinary team of hematologists/medical oncologists, interventional pulmonologists and pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, and thoracic surgeons, as well as a support team to help patients and their families cope with the challenges that they face.
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center conducts research across four schools encompassing 35 academic departments. In pursuing basic, clinical, and population-based research, its scientists are organized into eight formal programs:
- Cancer Epigenetics and Nuclear Dynamics
- Tumor Environment and Metastasis
- Organelles and Metabolism
- Cancer and Physical Sciences
- Cancer Prevention
- Cancer Control and Survivorship
- Translational Research in Solid Tumors
- Hematologic Malignancies
The programs include comprehensive clinical trials, with Lurie Cancer Center designated as a Lead Academic Participating Site within the National Clinical Trials Network. Current mesothelioma trials include a study on the safety of a drug for participants with solid tumors and a study on multimodality therapy with immunotherapy in sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center attracts top-tier medical talent. The lung and thoracic cancer treatments benefit from the expertise of physicians including Dr. Jyoti D. Patel, the Medical Director of Thoracic Oncology; interventional pulmonologist Dr. Momen Wahidi, the Medical Director for the Canning Thoracic Institute and Health System Director for Interventional Pulmonology; radiation oncologists Dr. Mohamed E. Abazeed, Co-Leader of the Lung Cancer Program; and thoracic surgeon Dr. Ankit Bharat, Chief of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery.
Physicians at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center deploy wide-ranging expertise and innovative technology to develop the most effective treatment plan for patients diagnosed with lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and other cancers.