The NJMS Cancer Center, which opened in 2007, provides the opportunity to integrate the delivery of the highest quality clinical care and the application of innovative basic and translational research.
The 9-story, 220,000 square foot building is physically connected to University Hospital on levels A, B and C, having clinical services, clinical research, screening and education programs and administrative offices. Research laboratories and core facilities will be located on levels F, G and H. Level I will serve as an NIH funded comparative medicine facility. The remaining two levels are shell space for future expansion and a mechanical floor.
A multidisciplinary approach to cancer care by a select group of focused specialists has become the new paradigm for treatment. This approach takes advantage of the collective wisdom of these experienced individuals which translates into better and more efficient care for the patient. The clinical mission will be implemented programmatically by bringing together surgical, medical and radiation oncologists with supporting disciplines which are organized in the following site-specific teams:
- Alternative Medicine/Palliative Care
The research mission is to conduct the highest quality research (basic, translational and clinical) in order to further enhance the ability to diagnose and successfully treat cancer. It is accomplished in multiple ways. As pivotal as the Cancer Center is, it should be stressed that it is a part of a larger Cancer Center Community(CCC). The CCC draws upon existing excellence in cancer treatment and research on this campus and NJMS, in particular.
The CCC serves to complement programs in the Cancer Center, since only some of the faculty researchers and relevant core facilities are housed in the Center itself. Basic and translational research in the Center has initially drawn upon existing NJMS faculty who have relocated their research laboratories to the Cancer Center on the H level. These faculty are funded investigators who have provided the basis for an interdisciplinary approach to research. They are drawn from different departments at NJMS and are funded by diverse sources including multiple institutes of the National Institutes of Health. Newly-recruited faculty have already occupied much of the laboratory space on G level, and active recruiting to fill these laboratories and those on F level is ongoing and anticipated to last for several years.
Community outreach focuses on education and screening and may be the most critical mission of the Cancer Center. Given the increased cancer mortality rates for minority populations, significant efforts are being made to reach out to Newark and its surrounding underserved cities and towns.
An organized effort is underway to link the Cancer Center with community-based social, religious and educational organizations in order to promote cancer awareness and screening. Only through early detection and improved access to appropriate levels of care, can we begin to significantly improve the quality of life and survival rates of our underserved citizens.