St. Luke’s to Partner with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

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SLUHN St. Luke's University Health Network

Above, St. Luke’s Hospital-Bethlehem in Fountain Hill, Pa. (FILE PHOTO)

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) will expand its participation in clinical trials for cancer research though an innovative partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Jersey, together with RWJBarnabas Health.

“This unique partnership is great for St. Luke’s cancer patients, and it’s great for cancer research. It will allow St. Luke’s to provide patients with greater access to a larger portfolio of cancer clinical trials beyond those offered within our own institution,” said Dr. Israel Zighelboim, St. Luke’s Chairman of Oncology. “It also opens the door to collaborate on various other cutting edge cancer research activities being conducted at Rutgers Cancer Institute. This is a major competitive advantage for St. Luke’s patients.”

As an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute is known for excellence in cancer research, prevention and care, including clinical trials. Clinical trials study new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

“We are excited to partner with St. Luke’s to bring our innovative clinical trials to their patients and the communities they serve,” said Steven K. Libutti, MD, Director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President of Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “Cutting-edge cancer care from New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center transcends state borders.”

“There are a lot of benefits of partnering with a program that has this designation,” said Zighelboim, who also serves as St. Luke’s Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “The designation not only provides access to clinical trials not available at other hospitals, clinics or doctor’s offices, but it also provides access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and medicines available.”

Rutgers Cancer Institute physician-scientists are major contributors and leaders in the development and execution of clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute and international cooperative groups. Their more than 230 faculty members collaborate with industry and other academic centers to conduct basic, clinical and population research for both adult and pediatric cancer patients. Areas of investigation include cellular therapy, precision medicine, immunotherapy, epidemiology, chemical carcinogens, tumor virology and immunology, drug development and resistance, and cancer genomics.

In 2019, St. Luke’s signed a collaborative agreement with RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest academic health system. This arrangement with Rutgers Cancer Institute is the latest benefit from the positive relationship between RWJBarnabas Health and St. Luke’s.

“I am incredibly excited for our St. Luke’s patients to experience the benefit of the Rutgers Cancer Institute team,” said Jennifer Sisler, BSN, RN, Senior Network Director, Clinical Trials & Research for St. Luke’s.

Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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