Area of Focus: Cancer Research

A cancer researcher works at a microscope
Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center logo in blue

Our Commitment to Cancer Research

Cancer-focused work takes place at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Washington area. Georgetown Lombardi seeks to prevent, treat, and cure cancers by linking scientific discovery, expert and compassionate patient care, quality education, and partnership with the community — guided by the principle of cura personalis.

Georgetown Lombardi serves as the research engine for MedStar Health, its clinical partner.

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center logo

In 2019, the NCI approved Georgetown Lombardi as a “consortium center,” reflecting a fully integrated cancer research enterprise with scientists and clinicians at John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC), part of Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey.

Georgetown Lombardi serves communities throughout the Washington, DC, metro area as well as the New Jersey catchment area, which includes Passaic, Bergen, and Hudson counties, with significant outreach and research opportunities with the Hispanic/Latino and Asian populations there.

NCI Community Oncology Research Program logo

Georgetown Lombardi is committed to reducing health disparities in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In 2019, it was selected as a member of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Its National Capital Area MU NCORP is one of only 14 Minority and Underserved NCORPs in the country. In 2023, it debuted the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention, which provides a range of patient navigation services to support early detection, diagnostic, treatment and preventative measures for breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers.

Priority Areas for Cancer Research

A lab worker draws liquid from a tank into a vial in the laboratory

The medical center’s priority areas within the cancer research arena are:

Cancer in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Populations

The Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities Research engages in research focused on reducing cancer disparities among the underserved and racially and ethnically diverse populations in the District of Columbia, including African-Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans.

The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention addresses four of the most prevalent types of cancer affecting communities in D.C. through its patient navigation and educational programming.

Immunology Treatment

The lab of Samir N. Khleif, MD, pursues translational tumor immunology research focused on understanding mechanisms through which the immune system and cancer cells interact and how to overcome tumor tolerance in developing therapeutic approaches.

Cancer and Aging

The Georgetown Lombardi Institute for Cancer and Aging Research (GLICA) conducts transdisciplinary research to address challenges in our diverse, aging society and train a new generation of researchers focused on achieving health equity for cancer patients and their families.

Education and Training in Cancer Research

Education and training opportunities at Georgetown University through its Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center span all levels of learning, from programs for high school students to postdoctoral fellowships.

Current Cancer Research News