As part of its effort to expand collaborative research opportunities, the Georgetown University Medical Center’s Lombardi Cancer Center announced a joint partnership with the John Theurer Cancer Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center last week.

The two institutions have been affiliated since the signing of an agreement between the Hackensack, N.J. physicians’ group and the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital — which is not owned by Georgetown but is GUMC’s clinical partner — earlier this year.

Lombardi Cancer Center director Louis Weiner wrote in an email that the expansion of the partnership would benefit doctors, researchers and students.

“We anticipate a great deal of expanded opportunities for research collaborations to result from this affiliation as well as expanded educational opportunities for senior-level trainees or students of all levels who wish to gain experience in the area of leukemia, lymphomas and other blood cancers,” Weiner wrote.

One of the most anticipated results of the agreement between the two institutions is the further development of a stem cell transplant program for patients suffering from blood and bone marrow cancers, according to Weiner. He expects the program will provide a significant financial boost to the Lombardi Center in the form of greater clinical revenue streams and more funding from grants and philanthropy.

Cancer patients from the D.C. area will benefit from the increased variety and quality of cancer treatment options made possible by the partnership.

“This affiliation with Hackensack UMC is terrific for our community. As the only comprehensive cancer center in the region, one of our primary responsibilities is to fully serve the cancer needs of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” Weiner wrote. “By offering the only academic blood and marrow stem cell transplantation program in this area, we can offer the highest quality options for patients with leukemia, lymphomas or other cancers of the blood.”

Executive Vice President for Health Services and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine Howard Federoff, who will oversee the project, noted that collaboration with Hackensack positions the university to weather impending changes to the health care system.

“I’m very excited to lead GUMC into a partnership such as this. In an era of great changes in health care, the ability for health care organizations to partner and innovate will be key to their success and growth,” he wrote. “This cancer center affiliation between Georgetown and Hackensack [encourages] collaborations to accelerate discovery, with broad capabilities to then disseminate new findings and put them into clinical practice.”

Federoff added that GUMC is in talks with other medical research facilities across the country and hopes to expand the breadth of its collaborative research opportunities in the near future.

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