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Our Mission: To advance knowledge and rapidly translate discovery into exceptional, personalized cancer care for our patients.
An integral part of one of the world’s most distinguished academic medical centers, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is among the leading cancer care providers in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the Mass General Cancer Center as one of the top cancer centers in the country. Its nurses were the first in Massachusetts to achieve Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in recognition of the hospital's exceptional nursing care.Known for providing customized, innovative treatments and compassionate care to both adults and children, the Cancer Center comprises more than 37 treatment programs within 29 fully integrated, multidisciplinary disease centers and a vast array of support and educational services. Its network of affiliations extends throughout New England and the southeastern U.S.The Cancer Center’s commitment to eradicating cancer is fueled by scientific investigation conducted as part of one of the largest hospital-based research programs in the nation. Through a powerful synergy between laboratory scientists and bedside physicians, the Mass General Cancer Center fosters innovation in all phases of cancer research. Physician investigators conduct nearly 400 clinical trials annually. The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is proud to be a founding member of a Harvard Medical School consortium designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. This prestigious seven-member center forms the largest cancer research collaboration in the country. The promising new treatments developed through this partnership are revolutionizing the future of cancer medicine.
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A new study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators finds that radiation therapy may increase the uptake of therapeutic nanoparticles by glioblastomas, raising the possibility of using both growth-factor-targeted and immune-system-based therapies against the deadly brain tumor.
A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator finds that a treatment previously shown to clear the precancerous skin lesions called actinic keratosis now appears to reduce the chance that the treated skin will develop squamous cell carcinomas, the second most common form of skin cancer.
A research team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has assembled a detailed atlas of bone marrow cells from patients with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer that usually leads to death within five years of diagnosis.
In a clinical trial led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators, treatment with the experimental drug sacituzumab govitecan produced a significant treatment response in patients with difficult-to-treat metastatic triple-negative breast cancer
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified interaction between two elements of the immune system as critical for the transformation of a protective immune response into chronic, cancer-promoting inflammation.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team finds that the remarkable recent increase in vocal-cord cancer in young adults appears to be the result of infection with strains of human papilloma virus that also cause cervical cancer and other malignancies.
A study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Cyprus reveals details of a way the dangerous brain tumors called glioblastomas resist the effects of antiangiogenic drugs designed to cut off their blood supply, identifying what may be a new treatment target.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has found that the overgrowth of connective called fibrosis may block the effectiveness of immunotherapies against metastatic breast cancer and that treatment with plerixafor can reduce fibrosis and improve response to immunotherapy in mouse models.
A new study from a Massachusetts General Hospital research team has found that the hypertension drug losartan, which targets the angiotensin signaling pathway, may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents used to treat ovarian cancer.
A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team has demonstrated, for the first time, how solid stress – the physical forces exerted by the solid components of a tumor – impacts the tissue surrounding brain tumors and contributes to resulting neurological dysfunction and neuronal cell death.
A study by a team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator finds evidence that combining three advanced treatment strategies for malignant melanoma – molecular targeted therapy, immune checkpoint blockade and the use of tumor-targeting viruses – may markedly improve outcomes.
A team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator has found that successful cancer immunotherapy targeting the PD-1 molecule requires interaction between cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and dendritic cells, critical activators of T cell response
A multi-institutional research team, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has identified specific states of cytotoxic CD8 T cells that are associated with patient response to checkpoint immunotherapy for melanoma.
A study by a multi-institutional research team, including Massachusetts General Hospital physicians, has found evidence that patients receiving minimally invasive radical hysterectomy for early-stage cervical cancer have an increased risk of death compared to patients treated with open surgery.
The results of a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators support evidence from previous studies suggesting the regular use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing primary liver cancer – also called hepatocellular carcinoma.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found that a special type of cell essential to the ability of olfactory neurons to regenerate may be genetically engineered to deliver anticancer therapy to the dangerous brain tumors called glioblastomas.
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center researchers has determined one way that mutations in a gene involved in a rare, hereditary cancer syndrome lead to out-of-control cellular proliferation.
A study led by a team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has analyzed, for the first time, the mechanisms underlying the use of focused ultrasound to improve the delivery of anti-cancer drugs across the blood brain barrier into brain tumors.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital are designing a new, rapid molecular diagnostic and sustained release therapeutic that could be deployed during brain surgery to treat gliomas and prevent their return.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has used epigenome editing tools to investigate how the genetic abnormality that drives Ewing sarcoma – the second most common bone cancer in children and young adults – unleashes tumor growth.
Using a novel imaging method, a Massachusetts General Hospital research team is investigating the mechanisms behind a potential targeted treatment for a subtype of the deadly brains tumors called gliomas.
A multi-institutional research team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator has identified what may be a novel mechanism underlying acquired resistance to CDK 4/6 inhibitor treatment for breast cancer.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigator have found that combined treatment with two cancer immunotherapy drugs significantly prolonged survival in mouse models of the aggressive cancer malignant mesothelioma.
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators finds that, in mouse models, cancer cells from metastatic lymph nodes can escape into the circulation by invading nodal blood vessels, leading to the development of metastases in other parts of the body.
The current guidelines for mammographic breast cancer screening, which are based on data from primarily white populations, may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women, according to a report from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators.
A clinical trial led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California, San Francisco found that treatment with an investigational androgen receptor inhibitor significantly delayed the development of metastasis in patients with prostate cancer that had become resistant to standard androgen-deprivation therapy.
Adding the targeted cancer therapy drug crizotinib to radiation therapy for tumors associated with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis 2 may reduce the hearing damage that can be exacerbated by radiotherapy.
A team led by MGH investigators has found that adding the drug hydroxyurea to the current chemotherapy protocol for glioblastoma significantly increased survival in animal models.
A new blood stabilization method, developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine, significantly prolongs the lifespan of blood samples for microfluidic sorting and transcriptome profiling of rare circulating tumor cells, living cancer cells carried in the bloodstream.
While more than 60 percent of patients with the brain tumors called malignant gliomas enroll in hospice services, almost a quarter of them do so within a week of death, probably too late for patients and family members to benefit from hospice care.
A new method of harvesting stem cells for bone marrow transplantation – developed by a team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute – appears to accomplish two goals: making the donation process more convenient and less unpleasant for donors and providing cells that are superior to those acquired by current protocols.
Researchers leverage a link between the bone marrow and brain regeneration, aiming to improve outcomes for brain tumor patients with radiation injury
Head and neck tumors that contain cells undergoing a partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition — which transforms them from neatly organized blocks into irregular structures that extrude into the surrounding environment — are more likely to invade and spread to other parts of the body, according to a new study led by researchers from Mass. Eye and Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that hospitalized patients with advanced cancer who report more intense and numerous physical and psychological symptoms appear to be at risk for longer hospital stays and unplanned hospital readmissions.
A study of 100 people with acute myeloid leukemia receiving chemotherapy found that patient and physician perceptions of treatment risk and the likelihood of a cure varied widely.
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified a new cancer-causing pathway behind most cases of an aggressive type of leukemia, findings that could lead to new targeted treatment approaches.
In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team reports a remarkable treatment response in a patient participating in a clinical trial of a novel immune-system-based cancer therapy.
Adult survivors of childhood cancer face an increased likelihood of financial difficulties related to out-of-pocket costs for their health care, compared with adults not affected by childhood cancer.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified a novel mechanism behind resistance to angiogenesis inhibitors – drugs that fight cancer by suppressing the formation of new blood vessels.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found that the traditional model for the spread of carcinoma, the deadliest form of cancer – from the primary tumor, to nearby lymph nodes, to other organs – may not apply in all cases.
While mutations in protein-coding genes have held the limelight in cancer genomics, those in the noncoding genome (home to the regulatory elements that control gene activity) may also have powerful roles in driving tumor growth. A new study reveals recurrent mutations in nine such noncoding elements in breast cancer.
A Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team has identified a novel mechanism behind the resistance of brain metastases from HER2-positive breast cancer to targeted therapies and identified a potential treatment strategy.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a surprising mechanism for resistance to immune checkpoint blockade, finding in mouse models of cancer that an antibody-based drug designed to block the immunosuppressive molecule PD-1 is removed from its target T cells by macrophages within minutes of administration.
Detailed analysis of two brain tumor subtypes has revealed that they may originate from the same type of neural progenitor cells and be distinguished by gene mutation patterns and by the composition of their microenvironments.
Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center have identified the first genetic mechanisms conferring acquired resistance to a promising group of targeted cancer drugs.
A clinical trial of an antibody-drug conjugate that combines the active portion of a chemotherapy drug with an antibody targeting a molecule expressed on tumor cells appears promising for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers find that gene variant that produces red hair and fair skin, which increases the risk of the dangerous skin cancer melanoma, may also contribute to the known association between melanoma and Parkinson’s disease.
The combined results of two ovarian cancer screening trials suggest that a personalized strategy involving frequent screening of high-risk women could improve the chance that tumors are detected at early stages when they are easier to treat.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have identified a mechanism that controls the expression of genes regulating the growth of the most aggressive form of medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor.
The effects of a promising new approach to chemotherapy that involves frequent administration of dosage levels much lower than traditionally used appears to rely on the “normalization” of blood vessels within and around a tumor.
A nearly two-decades-long clinical trial has demonstrated that adding antiandrogen therapy to radiation therapy can improve the survival of prostate cancer patients who have evidence of disease recurrence after radical prostatectomy.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators describe how use of an advanced form of the commonly used polymerase chain reaction method to analyze circulating tumor cells may greatly increase the ability to diagnose early-stage cancer, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have found new evidence that the tumor necrosis factor receptor type II may be a major target for immuno-oncology treatments, which induce a patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a protein that may maintain a population of cells responsible for breast cancer recurrence and metastasis, as well as a compound that appears to reduce the molecule’s ability to protect these tumor-initiating cells from chemotherapy.
A combination of two FDA-approved drugs – a topical chemotherapy and an immune-system-activating compound – was able to rapidly clear actinic keratosis lesions from patients participating in a clinical trial.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed new methods for mapping and measuring solid stress – the force exerted by solid and elastic components – within tumors, an accomplishment that may lead to improved understanding of those forces and their consequences and to novel treatment strategies.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have shown that integrating palliative care into the treatment of patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation for cancers like leukemia and lymphoma can improve their quality of life, relieve symptoms associated with the procedure, and reduce depression and anxiety in patients while also benefiting their caregivers.
Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy – designed to reduce the size of breast tumors before surgical removal – appears to be as effective as neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with localized, estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with considerably fewer side effects.
– A study analyzing brain tumor genomics on a single-cell level has found evidence that cancer stem cells fuel the growth of oligodendrogliomas, a slow-growing but incurable form of brain cancer.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a potential mechanism behind the resistance that inevitably develops to cancer treatment with a combination of chemotherapy and antiangiogenic drugs.
A research team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have identified a promising new approach to the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators reveals how spontaneous changes in the molecular characteristics of tumors can lead to tumors with a mixed population of cells requiring treatment with several types of therapeutic drugs.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have discovered the mechanism by which obesity increases inflammation and desmoplasia – an accumulation of connective tissue – in the most common form of pancreatic cancer. They also identify a treatment strategy that may inhibit the process, which can contribute to tumor progression and treatment resistance.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified the first potential molecular treatment target for the most common form of pancreatic cancer, which kills more than 90 percent of patients.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have found that circulating tumor cell (CTC) clusters – which are more efficient in spreading cancer throughout the body than are single CTCs – can pass through capillary-sized blood vessels. Their findings suggest potential strategies to reduce clusters’ metastatic potential
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a type of immune cell that appears to block the progress of melanoma and other cancers in animal models.
Two companion papers from Massachusetts General Hospital research teams suggest that targeting multiple angiogenesis pathways simultaneously could help overcome the resistance to anti-angiogenic treatment inevitably developed by the devastating brain tumor glioblastoma.
An analysis of data from two major, long-term epidemiologic studies finds that the regular use of aspirin significantly reduces the overall risk of cancer, a reduction that primarily reflects a lower risk of colorectal cancer and other tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.
MGH investigators may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of obesity to promote cancer progression.
When metastatic tumors driven by drug-targetable genetic mutations become resistant to a targeted therapy drug, the usual practice is to biopsy a single metastatic lesion to test for new mutations that can guide the selection of next-line therapies. But investigators at the MGH Cancer Center and collaborators in Italy have found that this strategy may miss additional targetable mutations that arise in different metastases.
The use of proton radiotherapy to treat medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, is as effective as standard radiation therapy while causing fewer long-term side effects.
In a study examining the evolution of drug resistance in a lung cancer patient treated with multiple different targeted therapies, MGH physicians report that a new mutation conferring resistance to a next-generation targeted therapy actually restored the cancer’s response to the very first targeted therapy drug used to treat the patient.
In a landmark study, researchers from the Broad Institute and MGH reveal a completely new biological mechanism that underlies cancer.
Initial results from the world’s largest ovarian cancer screening trial suggest that tracking levels of a cancer-associated protein over time may help reduce ovarian cancer deaths by as much as 20 percent.
An MGH research team, in collaboration with investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, may have found a reason why the use of antiangiogenesis drugs – which has improved outcomes for patients with several types of cancer – fails to benefit some breast cancer patients.
Analysis of tumor RNA carried in platelets – blood components best known for their role in clotting – may prove to be more useful than other “liquid biopsy” technologies for diagnosing cancer and determining its primary location and potential therapeutic approaches.
A team of MGH investigators has discovered a new combination of drugs that may be effective against one of the deadliest cancers, malignant melanoma.
Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Pathology and Cancer Center investigator Bradley Bernstein, MD, PhD, is one of three recipients of the 2015 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, given by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Bernstein is being honored for his investigations into how the structural organization or ‘packaging’ of our DNA within cells influences the functions of our genes.
A new study finds that, while brain metastases share some genetic characteristics with the primary tumors from which they originated, they also carry unique genetic mutations, indicating that the evolutionary pathways of the metastatic and the primary tumors have diverged, which may change sensitivities to targeted therapy drugs.
A study from investigators at the MGH Cancer Center has, for the first time, identified genomic differences between the breast tumors of African American and white women, differences that could contribute to the recognized differences in recurrence rate and survival.
A study from MGH Cancer Center researchers – the first to examine the effects of combined radiation and chemotherapy on the healthy brain tissue of glioblastoma patients – reveals not only specific structural changes within patients’ brains but also that the effect of cancer therapy on the normal brain appears to be progressive and continues even after radiation therapy has ceased.
A study by researchers at three academic medical centers has shown that screening women with a suspected risk of hereditary breast or ovarian cancer for risk-associated genes other than BRCA1 and 2 provides information that can change clinical recommendations for patients and their family members.
Use of gene therapy to deliver a protein that suppresses the development of female reproductive organs may improve the survival of patients with ovarian cancer that has recurred after chemotherapy, which happens 70 percent of the time and is invariably fatal.
An MGH Cancer Center study finds that the growth of metastases in lymph nodes – the most common site of cancer spread – does not require new blood vessels, possibly explaining why antiangiogenesis drugs fail to prevent the development of new metastases.
The latest version of a microfluidic device for capturing rare circulating tumor cells is the first designed specifically to capture clusters of two or more cells, rather than single cells. Recent studies by MGH investigators and others have suggested that CTC clusters are significantly more likely to cause metastases than single circulating tumor cells.
A new study finds that men with prostate cancer that has spread to nearby lymph nodes can benefit from the addition of radiation therapy to treatments that block the effects of testosterone.
A new targeted therapy drug against EGFR-mutation driven lung tumors that have become resistant to current therapies shows activity against the most common resistance mutation, significantly improving outcomes for patients.
A device developed by MGH investigators may bring rapid, accurate molecular diagnosis of tumors and other diseases to locations lacking the latest medical technology.
An analysis of genetic and lifestyle data from 10 large epidemiologic studies confirmed that regular use of aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs appears to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in most individuals. The study also found that a few individuals with rare genetic variants do not share this benefit.
Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified the first potential treatment targeting a pathway by which several aggressive tumors maintain their ability to proliferate.
The genetic abnormality that drives the bone cancer Ewing sarcoma operates through two distinct processes – both activating genes that stimulate tumor growth and suppressing those that should keep cancer from developing.
A new screening platform using cells grown directly from tumor biopsy samples may lead to truly individualized treatment strategies that would get around the problem of treatment resistance, which limits the effectiveness of current targeted therapy drugs.
Treatment with the targeted therapy drug crizotinib effectively halts the growth of lung tumors driven by rearrangements of the ROS1 gene
Analysis of circulating tumor cells in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer identified distinct patterns of gene expression in several groups of CTCs, including significant differences from the primary tumor that may contribute to the ability to generate metastases and prove to be targets for improved treatment of the deadly tumor.
A study comparing how blood stem cells and leukemia cells consume nutrients found that cancer cells are far less tolerant to shifts in their energy supply than their normal counterparts. The results suggest that there could be ways to target leukemia metabolism so that cancer cells die but other cell types are undisturbed.
Circulating tumor cell clusters – clumps of from 2 to 50 tumor cells that break off a primary tumor and are carried through the bloodstream – appear to be much more likely to cause metastasis than are single CTCs, according to a study from investigators at the MGH Cancer Center.
Circulating tumor cells captured with a microchip-based device developed at the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Cancer Center can be cultured to establish cell lines that accurately reflect a tumor’s genetic mutation over time and changing susceptibility to therapeutic drugs.
Researchers from MGH, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine have shown that aspirin’s previous reported ability to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer applies only to individuals with high levels of a specific gene product in their colons.
The activity of four transcription factors appears to distinguish the small proportion of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor. The findings identify molecular circuits that may be targeted by new therapeutic approaches
A new drug called ceritinib appears to be effective against advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, both in tumors that have become resistant to crizotinib and in those never treated with the older drug.
A novel approach to cancer immunotherapy may provide a cost-effective weapon against some of the most deadly tumors, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. A protein engineered by MGH investigators to combine a molecule targeting a tumor antigen with an immune-function stimuating protein prolonged survival in animal models of both tumors.
A new study has found that patients with malignant astrocytoma – the most common malignant brain tumor – whose tumors carry a specific genetic mutation benefit greatly from surgical removal of the largest possible amount of tumor.
A new technology developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Systems Biology allows simultaneous analysis of hundreds of cancer-related protein markers from miniscule patient samples gathered through minimally invasive methods.
A team led by investigators from MGH, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Broad Institute has found that a gene mutation associated with several types of cancer also may be responsible for a rare but debilitating brain tumor called papillary craniopharyngioma.
The ability to detect circulating tumor cells as they travel through the blood can play an important role in early diagnosis, characterization of cancer subtypes, treatment monitoring and metastasis.
MGH investigators have developed a microchip-based device that can isolate and identify tumor cells found in ascites – an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen that often occurs in abdominal cancers – potentially simplifying the monitoring of treatment response in ovarian cancer and other malignancies.
A strategy developed by MGH-based investigators to increase levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein has been shown for the first time to be effective in non-human primates.
Advanced imaging techniques may be able to distinguish which patients' tumors will respond to treatment with anti-angiogenic drugs and which will not.
Use of existing, well-established hypertension drugs could improve the outcome of cancer chemotherapy by opening up collapsed blood vessels in solid tumors.
A new study finds that colonoscopy appears to reduce the risk of developing or dying from colorectal cancer more powerfully than does sigmoidoscopy, a similar procedure that examines only a portion of the colon. The investigation also identifies molecular features that may help explain tumors that are diagnosed despite an individual's having recently undergone colonoscopy.
A comparison of three methods of predicting recurrence risk in women treated for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer finds that only the breast cancer index – a biomarker based on the expression levels of seven tumor-specific genes – accurately identifies patients who continue to be at risk after five years of estrogen-blocking treatment.
A new way of analyzing data acquired in MR imaging appears to be able to identify whether or not tumors are responding to anti-angiogenesis therapy, information that can help physicians determine the most appropriate treatments and discontinue ones that are ineffective.
A biomarker reflecting expression levels of two genes in tumor tissue may be able to predict which women treated for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer should receive a second estrogen-blocking medication after completing tamoxifen treatment.
Research teams led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center investigators are publishing two important studies regarding use of the targeted cancer drug crizotinib for treatment of advanced lung cancer driven by specific genetic mutations.
A new measure of the heterogeneity – the variety of genetic mutations – of cells within a tumor appears to predict treatment outcomes of patients with the most common type of head and neck cancer.
Three projects led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators have been named among the Clinical Research Forum's Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements of 2012.
A team led by MGH researchers has identified a genetic signature that may reflect the risk of tumor recurrence or spread in men surgically treated for prostate cancer. If confirmed, the genetic risk index also may help distinguish tumors that require aggressive treatment from those that can safely be monitored.
GDC-0032, a potent, next-generation PI3 kinase inhibitor, demonstrated early signs of efficacy for patients with cancers driven by mutations in the PI3 kinase alpha gene, according to first in-human results presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013.
A new system for isolating rare circulating tumor cells – living solid tumor cells found at low levels in the bloodstream – shows significant improvement over previously developed devices and does not require prior identification of tumor-specific target molecules.
A multi-institutional study has revealed that BRAF-positive metastatic malignant melanomas develop resistance to treatment with drugs targeting the BRAF/MEK growth pathway through a major change in metabolism. The findings suggest a strategy to improve the effectiveness of currently available targeted therapies.
A multi-institutional team led by MGH researchers has identified a molecular pathway that appears to be essential for the growth and spread of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children.
A process that normally occurs in developing embryos – the changing of one basic cell type into another – has also been suspected of playing a role in cancer metastasis. Now a study from MGH Cancer Center researchers has associated this process, called epithelial-mesenchymal transition, with disease progression and treatment response in breast cancer patients.
A protein known to regulate how cells process glucose also appears to be a tumor suppressor, adding to the potential that therapies directed at cellular metabolism may help suppress tumor growth.
Adding an angiogenesis inhibitor to treatment with a HER2-inhibiting drug could improve outcomes for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer who develop brain metastases.
The elevated risk of melanoma among people with red hair and fair skin may be caused by more than just a lack of natural protection against ultraviolet radiation. Resarchers at the MGH Cutaneous Biology Research Center and Cancer Center have found that the type of skin pigment predominantly found in red-haired, fair-skinned individuals may itself contribute to the development of melanoma.
The results of a new phase III trial show that crizotinib, a targeted therapy, is a more effective treatment than standard chemotherapy for patients with advanced, ALK-positive lung cancer.
Combined treatment with two drugs targeting different points in the same growth-factor pathway delayed the development of treatment resistance in patients with BRAF-positive metastatic malignant melanoma.
Massachusetts General Hospital has moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list.
New research by a team from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that how cancer evade drug treatment may depend on the interplay between tumor cells and their healthy counterparts.
Detailed analysis of genes expressed in circulating tumor cells – cells that break off from solid tumors and travel through the bloodstream – has identified a potential treatment target in metastatic pancreatic cancer.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers have profiled genetic changes in cancer with drug sensitivity in order to develop a personalized approach to cancer treatments.
Researchers from the MGH Cancer Center have identified a new potential strategy for treating colon tumors driven by mutations in the KRAS gene, which usually resist both conventional and targeted treatments.
MGH Cancer Center investigators have defined the role of a recently identified gene abnormality – rearrangements in the ROS1 gene – in non-small-cell lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. They also show that these tumors can be treated with crizotinib and describe the remarkable response of one patient to such treatment.
Investigators at the MGH Cancer Center have identified a new genetic signature associated with bile duct cancer, a usually deadly tumor for which effective treatment currently is limited.
Using two drugs that inhibit the growth factor HER2 for preoperative treatment of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer appears to have better results than treatment with a single agent.
A small percentage of the deadly brain tumors called glioblastomas, which usually resist treatment with drugs targeting mutations in cell-growth genes, appears to contain extra copies of two or three of these genes at the same time. The surprising discovery has major implications for the understanding of tumor biology and for targeted cancer therapies.
An international clinical trial has found that treatment with a drug that suppresses the normal breakdown of bone can delay the development of bone metastases in men with prostate cancer.
A major international study has identified a novel gene mutation that appears to increase the risk of both inherited and sporadic cases of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The identified mutation occurs in the gene encoding MITF, a transcription factor that induces the production of several important proteins in melanocytes, the cells in which melanoma originates.
Short-term hormone therapy given in combination with radiation therapy for men with early-stage prostate cancer increases their chance of living longer and not dying from the disease, compared with patients who receive the same radiation therapy alone.
A detailed analysis of lung tumors that became resistant to targeted therapy drugs has revealed two previously unreported resistance mechanisms. The report also describes how the cellular nature of some tumors can change in response to treatment and finds how resistance-conferring mutations can disappear after treatment is discontinued.
Genes make up only a tiny percentage of the human genome, but the rest may hold vital clues about the genetic origins of disease. Using a new mapping strategy, a research team has begun to assign meaning to the regions beyond our genes and has revealed how minute changes in these regions might be connected to common diseases.
The reduced risk of colorectal cancer associated with taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be limited to individuals already at risk because of elevations in a specific inflammatory factor in the blood.
MGH Cancer Center researchers have discovered a previously unknown feature of common tumor cells – massive overexpression of satellite repeats, which are DNA sequences that do not code for proteins. The findings may improve understanding of tumor development and provide a new cancer biomarker.
MGH has entered into a collaborative agreement with Veridex LLC to establish a center of excellence in research on circulating tumor cell technologies.
As part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's season-long "Kick Cancer" initiative, and in partnership with Mass General Hospital, the Patriots will promote colorectal cancer awareness at the December 6 Monday night matchup at Gillette Stadium versus the New York Jets.
A new study from MGH Cancer Center researchers finds that circulating tumor cells bring along from the original tumor site noncancerous cells that facilitate the development of metastases.
A new study finds that an FDA-approved drug to treat the rare autoimmune disorder immune thromobocytopenia (ITP) is more effective than earlier medical therapies in helping patients avoid surgical treatment and significantly improving their quality of life.
A clinical trial of a potential new targeted treatment drug has provided powerful evidence that it can halt or reverse the growth of lung tumors characterized by alterations in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene.
A redesigned version of the CTC-Chip – a microchip-based device for capturing rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) – appears to be more effective and should be easier to manufacture than the original. Called the HB-(herringbone) Chip, the new device also may provide more comprehensive and easily accessible data from captured tumor cells.
Nearly 70,000 fans pack the stands at Gillette Stadium for every Patriots home game and, statistically, far too many of them will develop cancer in their lifetimes. With support from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital – the founding hospitals of Partners HealthCare – and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has launched Kick Cancer, a season-long initiative to increase cancer awareness among Patriots fans.
Use of an experimental targeted drug to treat metastatic melanoma tumors with a specific genetic signature was successful in more than 80 percent of patients in a phase 1 clinical trial.
Integrating palliative care early in the treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer not only improved their mood and quality of life, it also extended their lives.
MGH investigators have identified a new mechanism that controls the number of the stem cells that give rise to all blood and immune system cells, an advance that may improve treatment of blood system cancers.
The largest study to correlate genetics with response to cancer drugs releases its first results today. The researchers behind the study, based at the MGH Cancer Center and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, describe the responses of 350 cancer samples to 18 anticancer therapeutics.
Combined targeted therapy against the BRAF/MAPK pathway with immunotherapy shows promise as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of melanoma, according to results of a preclinical study by MGH researchers.
A detailed analysis of the epigenetics – factors controlling when and where genes are expressed – of Wilms tumor reveals striking similarities to stem cells normally found in fetal kidneys. These findings by MGH Cancer Center researchers reveal new cellular pathways critical for Wilms tumor development that may apply to other pediatric cancers.
Cancer is a multifaceted disease that requires multiple approaches to diagnosis and management. At the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010, scientists and clinicians will present more than 6,300 abstracts dealing with innovative aspects of biology, technology and emerging therapies.
The ability of cancer cells to resist treatment with either targeted drug therapies or traditional chemotherapy may, in some cases, result from a transient state of reversible drug "tolerance."
Technical improvements to a microchip-based device for detecting and analyzing tumor cells in the bloodstream are revealing cellular differences that may reflect a tumor's aggressiveness and long-term response to treatment.
A new study by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that “good” cells can become cancerous because of exposure to a “bad” environment within the body — similarly to the way a “good boy” may turn to crime when exposed to the pressures of life in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
Boosting the radiation dose given to prostate cancer patients to a level that cut recurrence in half did not increase the severity of side effects reported by patients up to a decade later. Patients also found the impact of continuing side effects on their quality of life to be less bothersome than would be expected, based on earlier studies.
Annual breast cancer screening with both mammography and magnetic resonance imaging is likely to be a cost-effective way to improve life expectancy in women with an increased risk of breast cancer.
A study investigating how a cellular enzyme affects blood glucose levels in mice provides clues to pathways that may be involved in processes including the regulation of longevity and the proliferation of tumor cells.
A team of researchers led by Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Cancer Center, recently announced that they have revealed a unique molecular mechanism that might control the growth of cancer cells.
A multi-institutional study has identified a potential personalized treatment target for the most common form of ovarian cancer.
Twice-yearly treatment with denosumab, a new targeted therapy to stop bone loss, increased bone density and prevented spinal fractures in men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.
A Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team has identified how a chromosomal abnormality known to be associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia – the most common cancer in children – initiates the disease process.
Treatment with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab improved hearing and alleviated other symptoms in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). The study by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) represents the first report of a successful NF2 treatment not involving surgery or radiation.
A new study uncovers a gene expression signature that reliably identifies cancer cells whose survival is dependent on a common signaling pathway, even when the cells contain multiple other genetic abnormalities. The study from MGH Cancer Center researchers identifies critical molecular vulnerabilities, thereby revealing promising therapeutic targets for a common and notoriously treatment resistant cancer.
Overall prognosis for gallbladder cancer appears to be improving, although many patients still have incurable disease and poor survival rates.
The beneficial effects of anti-angiogenesis drugs in the treatment of the deadly brain tumors called glioblastomas appear to result primarily from reduction of edema – the swelling of brain tissue – and not from any direct anti-tumor effect.
Most women responding to a survey conducted at MGH clinics indicated they would be willing to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus and to have their daughters and even sons vaccinated in order to prevent cancer in their children. The report also found that Latino women are just as likely, if not more so, to accept HPV vaccine as non-Latinos.
Treating prostate cancer patients with drugs that block hormonal activity does not appear to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study led by MGH researchers
MGH researchers have found that tiny membrane-covered sacs released from glioblastoma cells contain molecules that may help guide treatment of the deadly brain tumor.
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