University of Nebraska Medical Center

Oncology & Hematology Research

Cancer prevention, a better understanding of its causes and innovative treatment are keys to fighting this disease. The renowned physicians in our division are pioneers in cancer research.

Each day, researchers in our Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center work to make a difference for patients everywhere. The Buffett Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in Nebraska. This NCI designation is awarded to centers with demonstrated scientific excellence and the capability to integrate diverse research programs focused on cancer.

Read on to learn more about our research programs and faculty research interests.

Find a cancer clinical trial

Research Focus Areas

Our division’s faculty members provide patient care in the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a NCI-designated cancer center. Other clinical locations include the Village Pointe Cancer Center, Bellevue Medical Center, and Heartland Hematology/Oncology in Kearney.

Blood and Marrow Cellular Transplantation

Our research leads to innovative advances in bone marrow and stem cell transplants that change the standard of care.

Started by Dr. James Armitage in 1982, the bone marrow transplant program performs more than 180 transplants per year. Our faculty and staff members are committed to the development of their programs to continue to pioneer leadership in areas such as research, education, transplant, cancer therapy and many others.

 UNMC has a distinguished national and international reputation in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation for a variety of diseases. One area in particular, developed by UNMC’s own faculty, has helped the university to become a world leader in leukemia and lymphoma therapy. Following some 20 years of basic science research around the world and gradual refinement of clinically applied transplantation, the first patients at UNMC were transplanted with bone marrow cells in 1983.

Techniques pioneered at UNMC using peripheral blood-derived stem cells have also become an important part of the clinical care and treatment at the university. 

Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell (CAR-T cell) Transplantation  is a newer form of therapy where the patients T-lymphocytes are taken from the blood, undergo genetic modification to allow them to recognize the lymphoma cell, and then are grown in a laboratory.  The patient then receives chemotherapy follow by re-introduction of the CAR-T cells into the blood.  This treatment is currently available for lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma patients.

Patient Resources


We have a team dedicated to the research and treatment of leukemia. Our faculty members provide care through Nebraska Medicine, giving patients access to the latest research findings and innovative clinical trials.

Leukemia Patient Resources


UNMC is renowned for the research, diagnosis and treatment of lymphoma.

Our faculty members conduct research, as well as providing patient care through Nebraska Medicine. Patients come to UNMC and Nebraska Medicine for consultation, initial diagnosis, second opinions, standard chemotherapy, participation in clinical research trials, bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) - T cell transplants.

The oncology and hematology division is also known for the establishment of the Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group. This group is a unique collaboration between community oncologists and pathologists and their counterparts at UNMC. Faculty in our division are also part of the North American Mantle Cell Project, working to improve better clinical management of MCL in the immunochemotherapy and targeted therapy era. 

Lymphoma Patient Resources

Pancreatic Cancer

UNMC is home to the Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence, which is transforming what is considered state-of-the-art in the early detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of one of the most lethal cancers. 

We have an all-out attack on cancer of the pancreas, including clinical trials aimed at early diagnosis and better outcomes. Find a pancreatic cancer clinical trial.

Pancreatic Cancer Patient Resources

Thoracic Oncology

Our faculty researchers develop novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of thoracic malignancies, identification of cancer risk factors, and addressing survivorship issues of this patient population.

Our multidisciplinary experts – including medical oncologists, thoracic surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and pulmonologists – actively collaborate with basic, clinical, and translational researchers at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. 

Lung Cancer Patient Resources

Urologic Oncology

We bring together experts from multiple disciplines to focus on malignancies of the urologic system, including prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers.

In collaboration with researchers in all oncology specialties, we are advancing research in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of patients with urologic malignancies. Assisted by the state-of-the-art technology available at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, we provide cutting-edge therapies, both in standard-of-care as well as in clinical research, to patients diagnosed with any of these cancers.

Urologic Patient Resources

Dr. Matt Lunning

Our division’s Dr. Lunning is active in research

Matthew Lunning, DO, is the UNMC assistant vice chancellor of clinical research and the associate vice chair of research for the Department of Internal Medicine.

Memberships and Affiliations

Faculty in our division are active in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology and the Big 10 Cancer Research Consortium.