Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey unveiled plans for a proposed 12-story cancer treatment and research center with a $750 million price tag. The proposed center is in response to the soaring number of cancer patients in New Jersey. The center would represent a nexus for not only care, but cancer research as a care option.
Called for by Dr. Steven Libutti, director the Rutgers Cancer Institute and senior vice president of oncology services at RWJ/Barnabus Health, they also seek renovations to the existing Cancer Institute, a bridge connection from the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and another bridge connecting the pavilion to the institute reports TapInto New Brunswick.
At about 510,000 square feet, the new Cancer Pavilion would expand capacity as there are about 50,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed per year in New Jersey while 16,000 passes away. New Jersey has more cancer patients than capacity at this point.
Vying for National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designation
Director Libutti disclosed that the Rutgers Cancer Institute seeks to vie for NCI Designation, a prestigious classification that “pits 50 or so similar facilities across the U.S. against each other every five years.” Significant research funds can follow such a designation. He noted: “We have to compete against centers across the country every five years for this designation which brings some resources from the National Cancer Institute in the form of a grant to help support some of the functions that a comprehensive cancer center has to drive forward—clinical trials, basic research, translational research, which is bringing findings from the laboratory to the clinic and the infrastructure necessary to operate a comprehensive cancer center”. He continued, “When we compete, they evaluate us against our peers, and they look at what facilities help to enable us to best perform those functions that they consider critical to that designation.”
Dr. Steven Libutti, director the Rutgers Cancer Institute and senior vice president of oncology services at RWJ/Barnabus Health.