Jan 9, 2023 World-Class Care for Blood Cancer Close to Home

tube being filled with dropper

Renowned cancer doctors are helping to enhance and expand the Hematologic Malignancies Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health.

The Hematologic Malignancies Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health is known in New Jersey and beyond for its world-class multidisciplinary team of cancer experts and for its coveted place at the forefront of cancer research. As the state’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, it offers patients access to the most advanced treatment options for blood cancers, including blood and marrow transplantation, CAR T-cell therapy, immunotherapies and innovative clinical trials, many not available elsewhere.

Matthew Matasar, MD, MS
Matthew Matasar, MD, MS

Now, the highly regarded program has extended its reach—and its potential—with the addition of two nationally recognized leaders in the field of hematologic malignancies to lead and complement the already outstanding team in place.

As the new Chief of Blood Disorders, Matthew Matasar, MD, MS, brings extensive expertise to the program and is among the nation’s most experienced clinicians and researchers in routine, rare and complex hematologic malignancies, with extensive expertise in treating these types of cancers with clinical trials, immunotherapy and other cellular therapies. Dr. Matasar will lead the enhancement of multidisciplinary clinical services, including programmatic growth of the bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy programs across the health system.

Ira Braunschweig, MD
Ira Braunschweig, MD

“My goal is to grow what already is an amazing program with extraordinary physicians,” says Dr. Matasar. “My vision is to continue to develop the health system’s ability to give best-in-class care; to deliver the most promising novel therapies in the context of ongoing and new clinical trials; to educate our patients, their families and the community; and to train physicians how best to take care of these patients.”

Ira Braunschweig, MD, Chief of Transplant and Cell Therapy, is an expert at treating blood cancers with blood and marrow transplantation as well as with CAR T-cell therapy, in which, he says, “We take the cells of a patient’s own immune system and reengineer them to become super-powerful cancer-fighting cells.”

Dr. Braunschweig was one of the physician-scientists leading the pivotal study in late 2015 that established CAR T-cell therapy as a standard for relapsed and refractory aggressive lymphoma.

“The Rutgers Cancer Institute/RWJBarnabas Health program has a strong foundation,” he says. “I want to take it to the next level by expanding it and ensuring that more patients have these therapies available to them close to home, and by further enhancing the availability of cutting-edge therapies.”

Learn more about cancer care at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health.