Center for Cancer Immunology
Mass General Cancer Center
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA 02114
Support the Center for Cancer Immunology
The Center for Cancer Immunology is dedicated to learning how to activate the immune system to target and destroy cancer within the body. Give today to help us revolutionize the way we treat cancer – not just at Mass General, but also worldwide. Make a gift.
For additional information about how you can support this program, call 617-726-2200.
Explore the Center for Cancer Immunology
We are in the midst of a revolution in the treatment of cancer. By harnessing and enhancing the body’s immune system, we can reduce tumor burden in patients and, in a subset of patients and cancers, achieve long-lasting remission. This has led to FDA approval of immune-based treatments for melanoma, lung cancer and kidney cancer – with many more cancers soon to be impacted. As these treatments become the standard of care, we can say with increasing certainty that the era of cancer immunotherapy has begun.
And yet, even as we are seeing some patients being cured by these new immunotherapies, most patients remain unresponsive. To accelerate and expand this ongoing revolution, we need to understand what drives immune responses against a tumor; determine why some patients experience effective immune responses while others do not; develop and bring safe and effective immunotherapies to patients; and invent completely new immune-based therapeutic strategies.
A New Era for Cancer Treatment
We recently created the Center for Cancer Immunology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to take on these challenges. Our achievements over the past decade at the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies in understanding targeted cancer therapies and bringing them to patients provides a model for the seamless integration of basic research, translational sciences, clinical trials and patient care. Working closely with the leaders of the Termeer Center, physicians and scientists throughout Mass General and the Cancer Center, and our newly recruited faculty, we established the Center for Cancer Immunology to advance our understanding of cancer immunity and harness the immune system to cure cancer.
Our team members in the Center for Cancer Immunology are working creatively and passionately to understand the rules of the game for tumor immunity, to develop new and potent immunotherapies, and ultimately, to use the immune system as a powerful tool to prevent cancer progression. To do this, we have chosen to focus our efforts on four transformative programs: cellular immunotherapy, checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and early cancer immunotherapy. With a world-class team and an extensive research and clinical infrastructure in place, we are ready to accelerate the delivery of these potentially lifesaving therapies to our patients and set new standards of care that will benefit patients worldwide.
A Collaborative Effort
See how the Center for Cancer Immunology leverages the expertise of a variety of internal and external resources.
Meet the Team
The Center for Cancer Immunology’s core faculty, Nir Hacohen, PhD, Marcela Maus, MD, PhD and Shawn Demehri, MD, PhD work closely with physicians and scientists throughout Mass General and the Cancer Center.
News & Publications
- Immunotherapy Efforts Advances on Multiple Fronts
- Immunotherapy Effort Seeks New Cancer Targets
- Our immune systems fight colds and infections, what about cancer?
- Promise Seen In Personal Vaccines Made Just To Treat Your Cancer
Select Publications from our Core Faculty
- Rooney MS, Shukla SA, Wu CJ, Getz G, Hacohen N. Molecular and Genetic Properties of Tumors Associated with Local Immune Cytolytic Activity. Cell. 2015 Jan 15;160(1-2):48-61.
- Parnas O, Jovanovic M, Eisenhaure TM, Herbst RH, Dixit A, Ye C, Przybylski D, Platt RJ, Tirosh I, Sanjana NE, Shalem S, Satija R, Raychowdhury R, Mertins P, Carr SA, Zhang F, Hacohen, N, Regev A. A Genome-wide CRISPR Screen in Primary Immune Cells to Dissect Regulatory Networks. Cell. 2015 Jul 30;162(3):675-86.
- Johnson LA, Scholler J, Ohkuri T, Kosaka A, Patel PR, McGettigan SE, Nace AK, Dentchev T, Thekkat P, Loew A, Boesteanu AC, Cogdill AP, Chen T, Fraietta JA,Kloss CC, Posey AD Jr, Engels B, Singh R, Ezell T, Idamakanti N, Ramones MH, Li N, Zhou L, Plesa G, Seykora JT, Okada H, June CH, Brogdon JL, Maus MV. Rational development and characterization of humanized anti-EGFR variant III chimeric antigen receptor T cells for glioblastoma. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Feb 18;7(275):275ra22.
- Maus MV, Grupp SA, Porter DL, June CH. Antibody-modified T cells: CARs take the front seat for hematologic malignancies. Blood. 2014 Apr 24;123(17):2625-35. Review.
- Demehri, S, Cunningham, TJ, Manivasagam, S, Ngo, KH, Moradi Tuchayi, S, Reddy, R, Meyers, MA, DeNardo, DG, and Yokoyama, WM. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin blocks early stages of breast carcinogenesis. J Clin Invest. 2016 Apr 1;126(4):1458-70.