The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is the only cancer facility in the state to be recognized for meeting the standards of research, treatment, prevention, and education required to achieve this status. Patients seeking care for malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases are treated using a patient-centered approach that considers their physical condition as well as their specific needs and circumstances.
At Rutgers Cancer Institute, patient care is centered on compassion, communication, respect, and teamwork. All staff, from oncologists to administrative support members, are committed to providing patients with exceptional care through teamwork. Patients are offered the most innovative surgical options, as well as access to the latest clinical trials.
Facts about the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Rutgers Cancer Institute became New Jersey’s first NCI-designated cancer center in 1997, and five years later achieved comprehensive cancer center status.
The institute has 259 members from Rutgers University and Princeton University who collaborate on cancer research, which is frequently translated into clinical applications at the adjacent RWJBarnabas Health Center, to which it is connected by a sky bridge.
Rutgers Cancer Institute works in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health to administer ScreenNJ, a statewide cancer prevention program that links clinical and outreach partners to improve awareness, prevention, and screening for both lung cancer and colorectal cancers.
RCI has been instrumental in numerous scientific discoveries around cancer, including identifying metabolic vulnerabilities within cancer cells and developing lead drug compounds that target metabolic pathways; confirming that Black women living in lower-income neighborhoods are at higher risk of triple-negative breast cancer; and identifying mechanisms of response to immune-oncology agents to provide patients with the best treatment outcomes.
Rutgers Cancer Institute was named New Jersey’s leading cancer program by U.S. News and World Reports.
The facility has over 850 employees and sees more than 120,000 patients each year.
Rutgers Cancer Institute researchers receive more than $100 million in federal, state, and philanthropic grant support.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey first opened its doors in 1993 as a result of a planning grant that was awarded in 1992. Originally named “The Cancer Institute of New Jersey,” it started as a one-story storefront clinic in New Brunswick, eventually growing into a 225,000-square-foot building. In 2019, plans were announced for a new 12-story, 520,000-square-foot facility that will be the state’s first inpatient cancer hospital, which will include 96 inpatient beds, 84 infusion bays, 74 exam rooms, and many outpatient treatment bays and diagnostic centers. Outpatient services will be offered alongside research laboratories, retail space, and ancillary services such as massage and a wellness garden. The new center will be named the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center in recognition of the philanthropic leadership of New Brunswick developer Jack Morris and his wife Sheryl.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute offers patients diagnosed with lung cancer or malignant mesothelioma treatment through a state-of-the-art Thoracic Oncology Program and a dedicated Mesothelioma Treatment and Research Program. Both offer patients access to innovative treatment approaches and physicians who work collaboratively to create multidisciplinary treatment plans tailored to each patient’s individual condition, disease stage, and situation. Specialists including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pulmonologists partner with nutritionists, nurses, and social workers to ensure that patients with cancers of the lung, pleura, and mediastinum receive state-of-the-art care and the best possible outcomes.
The mesothelioma and thoracic oncology team at Rutgers Cancer Institute has a wide range of tools available to them, from surgery and chemotherapy to groundbreaking use of precision medicine and immunotherapy. For patients diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, the institute offers the complex combination treatment known as cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which has proven extremely effective for cancers of the abdominal cavity. The procedure involves the surgical removal of tumor tissue followed by the administration of heated chemotherapy directly into the surgical site to bathe any microscopic cancer cells left behind with the cancer-killing material.
Additionally, patients seeking care at Rutgers Cancer Institute have access to ongoing clinical trials being led or coordinated by the facility’s researchers.
Rutgers Cancer Institute’s physicians and scientists are actively engaged in translational research with the goal of moving their discoveries into clinical practice as quickly as possible. Working with 230 researchers at Princeton University’s Ludwig Cancer Research and Rutgers University, they are exploring cancer metabolism, cancer epigenetics and immunotherapy, and cancer prevention and treatment.
The research program encompasses behavioral science, precision medicine, systems biology, oncogenesis, tumor virology and immunology, autophagy, and drug development and resistance, all with an eye to improving the care provided to cancer patients at RWJBarnabas Health and beyond.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
The Rutgers Cancer Institute’s Mesothelioma Treatment and Research Program is led by specialists with extensive expertise and experience in managing and caring for patients with this rare, asbestos-related disease. The team is led by Chief Surgical Officer and Team Leader of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Dr. H. Richard Alexander and includes Dr. Timothy Kennedy, Director of Minimally Invasive Complex Surgical Oncology; Their work is also supported by the Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Team at RWJBarnabas Health, including Dr. Missak Haigentz, Jr., Chief of Thoracic Medical Oncology and the Surgical Oncology team, including Dr. Russell Langan.
The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey improves longevity and quality of life for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer through comprehensive, individualized clinical care and integrated treatments.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.