Chicago, Illinois

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (, one of only 51 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.


Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

Led by Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, 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.

Collaborative research opportunities, spanning 31 academic departments and divisions across four schools, enable investigators to focus their skills and expertise on basic, clinical and translational, prevention and control, behavioral and population-based research, and explore new ways to bridge these scientific areas. Based on their research focus, Lurie Cancer Center’s approximately 300 members are organized into eight formal scientific 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.

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 benefit from access to strong infrastructure for interdisciplinary programs and initiatives, including 16 shared resource facilities, that foster basic, clinical and population science research programs.

Patient Care

Our cancer program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked as #10 in the country and #1 in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report in the 2019-2020 Best Hospitals rankings. Lurie Cancer Center and its affiliated hospitals treat nearly 16,000 new cancer patients each year.

A wide range of specialized clinical services support cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship, including the OncoSET Precision Medicine Program, Oncodermatology, and the Northwestern Medicine Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program, recognized as a leader in the volume and types of transplants.

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. 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.

Lurie Cancer Center was selected as a Lead Academic Participating Site (LAPS) providing scientific leadership in the development and conduct of clinical research within the National Clinical Trials Network.

Community Outreach and Education

Lurie Cancer Center has a long-standing history of commitment to advocacy, education, outreach and engagement in the communities we serve. Together with our community partners and expanding networks, we are working to identify and address barriers to cancer health equity and improve outcomes in traditionally underserved neighborhoods. The cancer center offers professional education programs on a wide range of topics, and hosts opportunities throughout the year for patients and caregivers to learn, connect and make informed decisions. The annual Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K, now entering its 27th year with more than 3,000 participants, is among the nation’s largest survivorship events.


Northwestern’s cancer center, founded in 1974, was dedicated in 1991 through an endowment from Ann and Robert H. Lurie. The title was modified in 1997, when the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University received the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) prestigious “Comprehensive” designation, a reflection of our dedication to the highest standards of cancer research, patient care, education and community outreach. In 2018, the Lurie Cancer Center was awarded the highest rating possible from the NCI – an overall “exceptional” score – on the competitive renewal of its Cancer Center Support Grant.

Lurie Cancer Center is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 28 of the world’s leading cancer centers, devoted to improving the quality and effectiveness of cancer care, and also part of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, a network of academic institutions working together on highly translational clinical trials using the expertise of Big Ten universities.

To Learn More

Learn more about the Lurie Cancer Center at