A new research center aimed at understanding and reducing cancer disparities in diverse, minority populations received a $2 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, adding to $18 million in federal funding for the project.
The Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy is a joint venture between the University of Massachusetts Boston and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center -- a cross-institutional cancer research effort that includes 1,000 researchers from across Harvard and its affiliated hospitals.
It has become increasingly clear that each type of cancer, such as breast cancer or lung cancer, includes many different subtypes that influence how or if the disease responds to treatment. That has led cancer researchers to focus on developing drugs tailored to a particular patient's tumor and to create tests that could determine who is likely to respond.
The goal of the center, which will partner with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, is to develop tests to identify different types of cancer that are inexpensive enough to be used in community hospital settings.
"We are pleased to support an initiative that will address the longstanding racial, ethnic, and economic disparities that exist in cancer care as well as improve the quality of care for all cancer patients," Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, president of the Mass. Life Sciences Center, said in a statement.
The center will launch soon, and will eventually be housed in UMass Boston's Integrated Sciences Complex, which will begin construction this spring and is expected to open in 2013.
"If there is one thing that we've learned about cancer during the past quarter century, it is that cancer is not one disease but instead hundreds, and each cancer is often unique to each patient," Dr. Edward J. Benz Jr., president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said in a statement. "This grant will further our efforts to develop more effective treatments that are tailored to the characteristics of a person's cancer."
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|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
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