Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health Retains its Position as New Jersey’s Only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Jack Morris, Mark Manigan, Phil Murphy, Steven Libutti, Johnathan Holloway together for NCRI Redesignation

From Left to Right: Jack Morris, chair of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Board of Trustees; Mark E. Manigan President and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health; Governor Phil Murphy, State of New Jersey; Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and Jonathan Holloway President, Rutgers University

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New Brunswick, N.J., March 5, 2024 – Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health, the state’s leading cancer center and only Comprehensive Cancer Center as recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has scored in the “exceptional” range and was redesignated by the National Cancer Institute, placing it among the top cancer centers reviewed in 2023. The prestigious designation from the NCI, held by only 56 such centers across the nation, is granted competitively to institutions characterized by the highest level of scientific excellence in cancer research and the ability to translate research discoveries into novel treatments. 

In its comprehensive review of Rutgers Cancer Institute programs, the NCI recognized the Institute’s innovative, paradigm changing research, the impact on the relevant needs of the New Jersey population, notable community outreach, education and engagement efforts, and strong integration with its research consortium partner Princeton University. This redesignation ensures that Rutgers Cancer Institute maintains its “Comprehensive Cancer Center” status to support the continuation of outstanding world class research and comprehensive care. 

“The awarding of this grant and redesignation by the NCI reaffirms the value Rutgers Cancer Institute provides to our state through research, treatment, prevention and education, and our commitment to providing integrated, cutting-edge cancer care to those in New Jersey and beyond,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health. “Our continued dedication to excellence as recognized by the NCI also means that Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health are well positioned to continue delivering on our mission as we prepare for the opening of the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center in 2025, which will further propel us into the future of cancer discovery and care.” 

“For decades, Rutgers Cancer Institute has been a lifeline for those battling the cruel and relentless disease of cancer. Through pioneering clinical trials and cutting-edge research, Rutgers Cancer Institute has evolved our understanding of this disease and helped countless families overcome devastating diagnoses,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “This redesignation is a testament to their work to advance the fight against cancer. I am proud that New Jersey continues to foster innovation, and that we are home to a facility that works every day to improve cancer prevention and care for our residents.”

“Our country depends on the world-class research and treatment scientists are doing right here, which is why I worked hard to ensure Rutgers Cancer Institute was officially redesignated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As the only NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute is essential to the health of the people of our state and the advancement of cancer research nationally,” says Congressman Frank Pallone.“ Thanks to this important redesignation, the Institute will receive millions of dollars in federal funding to ensure Rutgers remains a national leader in cancer research and can develop new tools to better prevent, diagnose, and treat this terrible disease. In Congress, I will continue to be a vocal supporter of the federal research funding that is critical to the mission of Rutgers Cancer Institute.”

“This incredible achievement underscores the partnership between RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute and our shared commitment to provide our patients and communities with access to world-class physicians, clinical trials and services that are transforming cancer care in New Jersey,” notes RWJBarnabas Health President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark E. Manigan. “Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health has never been better positioned to impact the field of cancer than it is today.” 

“We are exceptionally proud of the NCI’s recognition of Rutgers Cancer Institute, highlighting its scientific leadership, exceptional research capabilities and leading cancer treatment,” adds Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor and Rutgers Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH. “Rutgers Cancer Institute also serves a critical role in educating and training the next generation of diverse health care providers, and with this redesignation, the institute will continue to advance our research and training missions.” 

Aiming to address the cancer burden that impacts New Jersey and beyond, Rutgers Cancer Institute collaborates with Princeton University as part of a research consortium. This longstanding partnership provides continued opportunities for scientific collaboration and cooperative use of state-of-the-art shared resources. As a result of this relationship, the Ludwig Princeton Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Princeton University was established for the study of cancer metabolism and the translation of discoveries into clinical trials and novel therapies for patients. Scientific advances in metastasis and genomics have also contributed to impactful clinical progress in areas such as precision medicine and immunotherapy. 

“Through Princeton University’s role as a consortium partner with Rutgers Cancer Institute, innovative basic and clinical cancer research discoveries that further our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer are being made every day,” says Princeton University’s Dean for Research Peter Schiffer. “Princeton is dedicated to advancing such critical work.”

About Rutgers Cancer Institute 

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute, together with RWJBarnabas Health, offers the most advanced cancer treatment options including bone marrow transplantation, proton therapy, CAR T-cell therapy and complex surgical procedures. Along with clinical trials and novel therapeutics such as precision medicine and immunotherapy – many of which are not widely available – patients have access to these cutting-edge therapies at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute at University Hospital in Newark, as well as through RWJBarnabas Health facilities. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute, call 848-932-8013 or visit
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