Clinical Research

Clinical Research: The Heart of MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute Research

All our care is research-driven and research-inspired, with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center our engine for innovation and the Washington Cancer Institute and the MedStar Health Research Institute our active and crucial partners. Today, excellence in cancer care means connecting clinical research to treatment, academic medical centers to community-based programs and extended survival to better quality of life. It means assuring that every person with cancer has access to the best therapies. The MedStar Georgetown Cancer Network is focused on delivering the highest quality cancer care in the Washington, D.C., region.

“The MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute means great cancer care, inspired by research” says Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and co-leader of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Network.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center  is the engine that drives clinical research for the entire network. Taking vital new insights into what makes cancer cells grow and spread, we turn them into new therapies and study these innovative treatments in clinical trials. The MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute allows us to make these trials available to our patients throughout the region. The network also provides access to new technologies to diagnose and treat cancer precisely.  We are able to take advantage of new options such as tumor profiling to target cancer with new treatments options and emerging new immunotherapies that are proving to be promising in the field.  

Physicians and patients benefit from a network that fosters a collegial environment in which cancer specialists collaborate in tumor boards to discuss difficult cases or have the ease of calling a colleague who can bring a special measure of expertise to a patient’s specific cancer care.

“Research cures cancer,” says Dr. Weiner. “Our patients are living longer and, in many cases, with a better quality of life.  In fact, we’re starting to talk about cures for some forms of cancer that we used to consider untreatable. The MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute is absolutely critical to assuring that this momentum extends to our community of patients and caregivers.”

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center - Research to Drive Progress

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only center based in the Washington, D.C. area that is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. Clinical research performed at Lombardi offers access to transformative new clinical trial options at all of the hospitals throughout the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute.

“Comprehensive has two very important, distinct meanings in terms of delivering the highest quality cancer care,” says Louis Weiner, MD, director of the Lombardi Cancer Center. “It means taking care of the whole person, having a very real focus on the individual. And we do all that, and more. The NCI designation takes the idea of comprehensiveness to an even higher level based on the depth and breadth of research programs that lead to innovative therapies and improved care.”

To gain the comprehensive cancer center designation, a center must undergo a rigorous review of every aspect of its cancer program. It must be a national and international leader in:

  • Basic research to discover what makes a cell cancerous and how those cells differ from normal cells in our body
  • Translational research to apply this knowledge to developing new treatments
  • Clinical research to test innovative therapies and make them available to patients
  • Expert, specialized treatment for every cancer type

Today, addressing the full range of emotional, physical and social issues that patients and caregivers face is essential to delivering high-quality treatment. Comprehensive cancer centers provide the full range of support services to assure that every patient has not only optimal treatment but also the highest possible quality of life.

A comprehensive cancer center is also a leader in training the next generation of experts—scientists, doctors and health care providers in every discipline. It is an active force for better care throughout its community, and an advocate for health care policy that improves cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is the clinical research engine that drives the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. By connecting Lombardi research virtuosity to the superb cancer care programs within the MedStar system, we truly can offer our patients tomorrow’s treatments – today.

Clinical Trials

Click here to find links to clinical research trials currently recruiting participants at a MedStar Health location in Maryland or Washington, D.C. These studies are organized by health condition and provide information that will help you better understand what the clinical trials are and the criteria for enrollment. 

National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designation

The National Cancer Institute designates Lombardi a comprehensive cancer center, one of just 46 nationwide, and representing just 2 percent of cancer centers. The criteria are rigorous, focused on a center’s ability to conduct meaningful research and incorporate promising results National Cancer Institute into clinical care. The designation means:

  • Greater access to grants
  • Ability to conduct more clinical trials, giving you access to tomorrow’s therapies today and providing options to patients who may have run out of them

Some of our clinical trials attract patients from around the country. Our researchers are solving the mysteries of cancer’s origins and progression, to improve detection and prevention efforts. They’re also refining current therapies and creating better ones.