Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

One of only 70 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the United States

The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is a research center within Indiana University School of Medicine and serves as a central hub of cancer research across Indiana University. The center has nearly 250 researchers who conduct all phases of cancer research, from laboratory studies to clinical trials to population-based studies that address environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to cancer.

The center’s physician-scientists care for Indiana patients through a partnership with IU Health, the state’s largest and most comprehensive health system. In addition to directing treatment at the Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center in downtown Indianapolis, IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center members oversee the care of Indiana children with cancer at Riley Hospital for Children, and influence care at the health system’s 16 hospitals across the state.

IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty members also serve patients from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds through longstanding relationships with the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, both in downtown Indianapolis.

Comprehensive Designation

IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Indiana and one of just 51 in the nation.

Advanced Clinical Research

The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center has earned international recognition for novel and clinical cancer research. Each year, IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center members—who represent the IU schools of medicine, nursing, public health and others—lead hundreds of clinical trials for pediatric and adult cancers. Those trials may lead to tomorrow’s therapies.

Improving Health for Hoosiers

Developing and Testing New Therapies

In 2018, the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center managed 380 clinical trials. Of these, 104 were investigator-initiated trials, designed and implemented by IU researchers. These trials evaluate potential new prevention, diagnostic or therapeutic approaches and are often the last line of defense for patients. A majority of these trials are only available at academic health centers and their affiliated cancer centers due to the rigorous demands of managing clinical trials and complexity of patients’ health.

Advancing Patient Care

Physician-scientists at IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center bring the most advanced therapies to Indiana, including a Precision Genomics program that analyzes a patient’s tumor and selects a custom therapy that precisely targets the cancer’s genetic vulnerabilities. IU and IU Health are the only institutions in the state to offer CAR-T therapy, a new approach that reprograms a patient’s own immune cells to recognize and attack cancer. Though more study is required to unlock its full potential, CAR-T therapy is one of the most promising cancer therapies in a generation.

Screening and Preventing Cancer

IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center works with partner organizations in Indiana to improve the health of all Hoosiers. The collaborative work focuses on reducing the number of new cancer cases and the number of deaths caused by the disease through initiatives to increase HPV vaccination rates as well as developing, testing and disseminating interventions to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening in racially diverse and rural populations in Indiana.

Boosting Indiana's Economy

The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center makes substantial contributions to Indiana’s life sciences economy. Researchers at the center currently hold 459 grants that total more than $60 million in external funding. Intellectual property filed by IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers in the past 10 years includes 402 disclosures, 53 patents issued, 65 licenses and 12 start-ups.

Patient-Focused Partnership

Through a close and long-standing partnership with Indiana University Health, cancer patients benefit from the scientific discoveries made at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. IU Health provides multidisciplinary clinical care for adults with cancer at IU Health Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and for children at Riley Hospital at IU Health.


Faculty educators train nearly 2000 students, residents and fellows each year.


Physician and scientific investigators collaborate to target clinical problems to be addressed and speed the translation of laboratory research into new treatments.


Donor support advances research that has regional, national and global impact.

Cancer Research News

Media Interviews

To schedule an interview with an IU School of Medicine faculty member or request materials and resources about cancer research, contact Christina Griffiths on the IU School of Medicine media relations team. For information specific to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center research and programs, email Michael Schug.