Newswise — HACKENSACK, N.J., AUGUST 17, 2020 — U.S. News & World Report has recognized John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center as the best cancer center in New Jersey. The recognition reflects the extraordinary strength of its comprehensive patient care, research and education programs. 

In 2019, John Theurer Cancer Center became a member of the National Cancer Institute-approved Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, making the Cancer Center a member of one of just 16 cancer consortia based at the nation's most prestigious institutions. The NCI endorses such consortia to bring together accomplished institutions with independently proven records of excellence to join forces in pursuit of the NCI's original mission: improving cancer outcomes through scientific discovery, reducing the impact of cancer on individuals and communities and diminishing cancer disparities, and developing the next generation of cancer scientists, clinicians and educators. 

John Theurer Cancer Center is organized into 16 specialized divisions, each led by a recognized expert in the field. With a strong focus on clinical science and innovation, John Theurer Cancer Center investigators were directly involved in the development of more than 40 new anticancer agents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the last three years—particularly for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, as well as solid tumors through Phase I first-in-human clinical trials. 

"Our multidisciplinary team cares for patients with cancers of every type and stage in a highly subspecialized environment," said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. "Our commitment to cancer is reflective of our approach to everything we do: to provide the most advanced health care services based on the latest findings of medical research in a compassionate, culturally sensitive setting. It is an honor for us to be recognized as the top cancer center in our state." 

"Our exceptional team is proud to be recognized as the top cancer program in New Jersey. The scope and depth of expertise, together with our focus on clinical science and innovation, are what make our Cancer Center a destination program,” explained Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., chair and chief physician of John Theurer Cancer Center, Lymphoma Division chief, physician-in-chief of the Hackensack Meridian Health Oncology Care Transformation Service, and a renowned lymphoma expert who led the Cancer Center's participation in the pioneering ZUMA-2 study. "Understandably, every person who receives a diagnosis of cancer seeks the center with the most experience and the best innovation. This is why patients come to John Theurer Cancer Center. We take care of each patient in a compassionate and friendly environment, and that's what makes our patients smile.” 

A number of metrics support that successful track record:

  • One of the nation's largest bone marrow transplantation (BMT) programs. John Theurer Cancer Center is one of the top ten BMT programs in the country, performing more than 7,500 bone marrow transplants since 1990 and averaging 400 each year using all forms of stem cell transplantation—including transplants from donors, cord blood transplantation, and other forms of cellular therapies.
  • A leader in CAR T-cell immunotherapy. John Theurer Cancer Center initiated the first CAR T-cell therapy clinical trials through its NCI collaboration over eight years ago and became the first certified center in New Jersey to offer this revolutionary treatment, in which a patient's own immune cells (T-cells) are trained to fight cancer. It is used to treat young patients with a certain type of leukemia and adults with aggressive lymphoma. More recently, CAR T-cell therapy was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2020 for patients with persistent or recurrent mantle cell lymphoma, a rare but very challenging subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The approval of this therapy was based on the game-changing results of the ZUMA-2 clinical trial in which John Theurer Cancer Center investigators had a leading role.
  • A strong focus on clinical science. Patients treated at John Theurer Cancer Center have access to more than 450 clinical trials of novel and promising treatment alternatives—particularly when standard chemotherapy fails, in combination with chemotherapy, or to replace chemotherapy entirely. John Theurer Cancer Center’s dedicated Phase I trials program allows patients to be among the first to have access to such innovative experimental therapies—a critical factor when standard treatment regimens fail to work. 
  • A pioneer in immunotherapy. John Theurer Cancer Center clinical researchers have been at the forefront of immunotherapy, the next frontier in cancer. The ability to harness the immune system to eradicate cancer cells is radically changing the field for patients with many subtypes of cancer. These treatments include antibodies that can unleash the power of the immune system (called checkpoint inhibitors); small molecules that modulate the immune response; and CAR T-cell therapy as well as other forms of cellular therapies. 
  • A close-knit collaboration for translational science with the Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI).  Cancer Center investigators collaborate with basic science researchers at the Hackensack Meridian Health CDI, with a strong focus on drug discovery, molecular genetics, and immunoresistance as well as the impact of the microbiome in cancer. 
  • The largest robotic program in New Jersey. Cancer surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center do more minimally invasive cancer surgeries than any other center in New Jersey. Hackensack University Medical Center has one of the three largest programs in the New York metropolitan area for robotic surgery—which often leads to better outcomes, fewer complications, and a faster recovery.
  • The Brain and Spine Institute is the only comprehensive brain tumor center in the state, offering an extensive portfolio of clinical trials, including vaccines in brain tumors, and the finest radiation therapy modalities.
  • Applying big data to treatment decision-making. John Theurer Cancer Center has created the only “Outcomes and Value-Based Research” division in New Jersey, focused on optimizing treatment decision-making and improving patient outcomes in a cost-conscious healthcare environment.
  • Top patient satisfaction rating. Press-Ganey surveys show that 99 percent of John Theurer Cancer Center patients report satisfaction with their care.


“This recognition as the state's best cancer center reflects the strength of our research, the dedication of our multidisciplinary team, and the expertise of our physicians," said Ihor Sawczuk, MD, FACS, Hackensack Meridian Health regional president, Northern Market and chief research officer. “We are grateful to our patients who have trusted us with their care and who continually inspire us to provide the best possible experience.”


For more information, please contact Katherine Emmanouilidis, Director, Communications & Public Relations, 551-996-3764.




About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in  colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 28 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit


About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 16 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, one of just 16 NCI-approved cancer research consortia based at the nation’s most prestigious institutions. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit




Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.


Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.


Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.


The network’s notable distinctions include having four of its hospitals are among the top hospitals in New Jersey for 2020-21, according to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the health system has more top-ranked hospitals than any system in New Jersey. Children’s Health is again ranked a top provider of pediatric health care in the United States and earned top 50 rankings in the annual U.S. News’ 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals report.   Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.


The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.


To learn more, visit