At a ceremony at the institute’s headquarters in New Brunswick on Tuesday, dignitaries from the medical and political communities celebrated the news at a press conference.
Dr. Steven Libutti, director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey said that to gain the designation as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest ranking given by the NCI, an institution must undergo a highly competitive application review process focused on developing new and better approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“An institution must also be able to leverage additional resources for cancer research, care, education prevention and outreach that serve our catchment area our catchment area is the entire state of New Jersey,” said Libutti.
“The prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation is held by only 50 centers in the United States, and we are proud to continue to serve as New Jersey’s only NCI designated comprehensive center,” Libutti said.
Rutgers Cancer Institute said Libutti, provides the most advanced treatment options for patients and improves access to care and makes groundbreaking discoveries that advance the science and understanding of a disease that impacts so many people in the state.
“Through our partnership with RWJ Barnabas Health, we are able to provide the most advanced patient-centric integrated cancer care close to home for residents throughout the state. We are committed to keep New Jersey cancer patients in New Jersey. The rewarding of re-designation and the $15 million grant by the NCI reaffirms the value Rutgers Cancer Institute provides to our state and to our nation,” said Libutti.
Dr. Brian Strom, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences chancellor, said that earning this prestigious designation in a rigorous national competition is evidence that world-class cancer care and research continues to be delivered at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
“This award will enhance and grow the number of clinical trials available to cancer patients, that’s because the promise of the academic health center that we are building, providing world-class education, research and clinical care to the state,” said Strom.
… for individuals and families living with cancer who are in need of not just compassion and care, but the most forward-looking treatment and hopes for a cure, New Jersey is the place to be.
– Gov. Phil Murphy
“Let’s be clear about what today really means,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “It means that for individuals and families living with cancer who are in need of not just compassion and care, but the most forward-looking treatment and hopes for a cure, New Jersey is the place to be.”
Murphy added that the cancer institute and the partnerships that flow within it carries on New Jersey’s long-standing and global leadership in the life sciences.
“It highlights our leadership in innovative and groundbreaking health care solutions. It speaks to both our compassion for those fighting cancer and our resolve to ensure that they win their fight. I am proud that the budget that our administration has proposed would protect the $31 million investment New Jersey is making in the work of the Rutgers Cancer Institute,” he said.
Ten-year-old cancer survivor Grace Eline, captivated the audience with a story of her personal battle with cancer and her successful treatment at the Rutgers Cancer Institute. Eline said that doctors told her that she is now cancer free.
Other dignitaries in attendance included: Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District; Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District; Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, D-6th District; RWJ Barnabas Health President Barry Ostrowsky; and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th District.