Nov. 1, 2018:

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (, one of only 49 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, is dedicated to scientific discovery, advancing medical knowledge, providing compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer care, and training the next generation of clinicians and scientists. Outstanding basic, translational, and clinical research complements a full range of prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care programs for all types of cancer.


Led by Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director, Lurie Cancer Center’s faculty is comprised of clinicians and researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and other academic units. Together, they bring their combined knowledge in basic, clinical, and translational research directly to patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

A culture of collaboration and discovery attracts highly regarded clinicians and scientists from around the world. Lurie Cancer Center’s approximately 300 members are organized into eight formal research programs: Cancer Epigenetics and Nuclear Dynamics; Tumor Environment and Metastasis; Membranes, Organelles and Metabolism; Cancer and Physical Sciences; Cancer Prevention; Cancer Control and Survivorship; Translational Research in Solid Tumors; and Hematologic Malignancies. They conduct groundbreaking laboratory research and translate their findings into innovative clinical trials.

Faculty members also collaborate with national and state agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the American Cancer Society. Lurie Cancer Center investigators have access to the shared resources of 16 core research facilities, including multiple imaging facilities, flow cytometry, pathology and specimen procurement, clinical research, and quantitative data sciences.

Patient Care

Lurie Cancer Center and its affiliated hospitals and physician practices treat nearly 15,000 new cancer cases each year. Lurie Cancer Center’s patients are the reason all of us are here. In addition to coordinated use of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation oncology, and interventional oncology, Lurie Cancer Center facilitates cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, survivorship, and recovery through patient education and the use of complementary therapies.

Clinical Trials at the Lurie Cancer Center

A comprehensive clinical trials program is available to patients, administered by the Lurie Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office (CTO). The CTO conducts and coordinates Phase I through Phase III clinical trials sponsored by federally funded national cooperative groups and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as investigator-initiated institutional trials developed by Feinberg faculty members. The Lurie Cancer Center OncoSET Precision Medicine Program combines genomic sequencing and sophisticated molecular analysis with pathology to identify new, individually tailored treatments and clinical trials. The Developmental Therapeutics Program, established in 2013, is accelerating the translation of pre-clinical science breakthroughs to better cancer therapies. Physicians affiliated with Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine play leading roles in national cooperative group studies, and strive to develop, test, and expedite access to new treatments. The Lurie Cancer Center has more than 300 clinical trials underway at any given time.

Community Outreach and Education

Education and outreach is an integral part of our mission. Each year, Lurie Cancer Center conducts a wide range of professional and public education conferences and sponsors survivorship events. The annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K, now entering its 26th year with more than 4,000 participants, is the nation’s largest survivorship event. A five-year, $17.4 million NCI grant awarded in 2015 enables Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University to collaborate with many of the city’s underserved communities to foster meaningful cancer research, education, training, and outreach.


The cancer center was established at Northwestern University in 1974. In 1991, through an endowment from Ann and Robert H. Lurie, the center was dedicated as the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University. In 1997, the title was modified to Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University when it was awarded the National Cancer Institute’s highly competitive “Comprehensive” designation, a reflection of Lurie Cancer Center’s dedication to the highest standards of cancer research, patient care, education, and community outreach. Lurie Cancer Center is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 27 of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care and also part of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, a network of academic institutions working together on highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit