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Hackensack, Georgetown expand collaboration

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Hackensack CEO Robert Garrett announced another agreement with Georgetown today.
Hackensack CEO Robert Garrett announced another agreement with Georgetown today. - (NJBIZ file)

Following a physicians’ services agreement launched between Hackensack University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital last month, the entities announced today that the two hospital’s cancer centers will enter an affiliation to bring the newest cancer research to New Jersey.

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the John Theurer Cancer Center entered into an oncology affiliation agreement Wednesday, increasing the number of available clinical trials in New Jersey as well as the amount of research done at the hospital.

Hackensack University Health Network president and CEO Robert Garrett had previously stated that one of the growth goals for the system was in academics, including research, and this affiliation “completes the elevation to an academic program.”

Garrett said the goals of the affiliation are designed to “foster robust collaboration amongst the clinicians and researchers from both institutions.”

“We strongly believe this affiliation will allow for greater patient access to innovative clinical trials, and will be a significant step toward the future goal of developing a clinical translational and basic science cancer research consortium,” Garrett said, adding that the affiliation lays the groundwork for Hackensack to eventually be a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

Garrett said HUMC is committed to increasing space and the number of scientists at the hospital if they are needed for this affiliation, but the general infrastructure required to perform research and clinical trials already is in place. He added that the affiliation will be felt “network-wide” as both preventative and therapeutic trials are made available to patients at other Hackensack University Health Network facilities — Mountainside Hospital, HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley and Palisades Medical Center.

Hackensack and Georgetown have reportedly been developing their relationship since last spring.

NJBIZ reported in a Grapevine a year ago that Hackensack and Georgetown were engaged in discussions, potentially about establishing the school in North Jersey. In early March, Georgetown and Hackensack established an agreement in which the New Jersey hospital would bring its blood and marrow stem cell transplant therapy to Washington, D.C., cancer patients through the Regional Cancer Care Associates group.

The Lombardi Cancer Center, named for legendary football coach Vincent T. Lombardi, who coached high school football in Englewood before going to the college and professional ranks, was established in 1970. Some research specialties include breast cancer research as well as drug discovery.

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