Northwestern University
Chicago, Illinois

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (, one of only 47 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Illinois, 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 Director, Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, and Maha Hussain, MD, Deputy Director and Associate Director for Clinical Research, 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, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 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 which generate over $175 million in extramural cancer-relevant research funding annually.

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.  125,000 net square feet of space on Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago medical campuses is dedicated to laboratory and clinical research and administrative support. 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, biostatistics and bioinformatics.

Patient Care

There are more than 5000 cancer-related admissions annually to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s 138 dedicated medical or surgical oncology beds.  Two outpatient centers, totaling 56,000 net square feet of space and state-of-the-art radiation oncology facilities, establish the environment for comprehensive care. Lurie Cancer Center and its affiliated hospitals and physician practices treat nearly 10,000 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.

Services include:

  • Regular multidisciplinary conferences providing prospective treatment planning for virtually all cancer types
  • OncoSET Program for Precision Medicine
  • Oncodermatology Program providing specialized skin care for patients undergoing cancer treatment
  • Patient and caregiver education facilitated by advanced practice nursing staff and social workers
  • Supportive Oncology Program providing one-on-one counseling, emotional and spiritual support, disease-specific support groups, and nutrition services
  • Fertility Preservation Program
  • Cancer Genetics Program
  • Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Institute, including specialized programs and clinics for adult survivors of childhood cancers (STAR), adolescents and young adults (AYA), adults, and breast cancer survivors
  • Patient and Family Health Learning Center with library and computer access
  • Cancer Rehabilitation Services (in partnership with Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
  • Palliative Care Program
  • Pain Management Clinic for cancer patients
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program, a leader in volume and types of transplants
  • Integrative Oncology services including massage, acupuncture, naturopathy and more

Clinical Trials at the Lurie Cancer Center

A comprehensive clinical trials program is available to patients, administered by the Lurie Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office (CRO). Staffed by 50 full-time employees, the CRO 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 faculty members at Feinberg. The new 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 in its 24rd year with more than 4,300 participants, is the nation’s largest survivorship event.  A five-year, $17.4 million NCI grant awarded in 2015 will enable 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 Ann and 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.

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