Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A look to the future of personalized medicine

 José Baselga, MD, PhD

In July 2010, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center welcomed new Chief of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director,José Baselga, MD, PhD. Dr. Baselga has since established a strong research presence at the Cancer Center focused on discovering and improving targeted therapies, with a particular emphasis on breast cancer.

Dr. Baselga’s work will build upon our efforts to integrate early-phase clinical and translational research with advanced, personalized patient care. Some highlights of his work include:

  • Leading the development of new and targeted agents, as well as novel treatments for cancers that are resistant to current therapies.
  • Establishing a Center for Targeted Therapeutics, which will develop a portfolio of early clinical trials across disease centers and focus intensively on identifying signs within tumors called predictive biomarkers that can help physicians pinpoint the right treatment match.
  • Collaborating with researchers around the globe, including labs at Vall D’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Spain, and as part ofStand Up to Cancer. Dr. Baselga’s group is advancing a variety of projects aimed at identifying new targets for personalized medicine and exploring why tumors become drug resistant.
  • The development of bispecific antibodies –“two in one” therapies that can be used in combination to break down a tumor’s defense mechanisms. The theory behind this work is that an agent blocking more than one receptor may more successfully halt drug resistance in patients. Early research suggests that bispecific therapy may be more effective against HER-driven carcinomas of the head and neck, lung, colon and pancreas.
  • Research to identify novel therapeutic strategies to target breast cancer. Both in the lab and in the clinic Dr. Baselga is testing new combinations of molecules that can prevent or delay the onset of resistance to therapy. This work includes large-scale analysis of tissue samples, which will help validate study results and lead to better treatment matching.

With Dr. Baselga now leading translational and early-phase clinical research, the Mass General Cancer Center is prepared to aggressively advance the search for targeted anti-cancer agents and identify new therapies for treatment-resistant cancers.

Learn more about how Dr. Baselga’s work is advancing personalized medicine:

For more about targeted therapies and innovative treatments at the Cancer Center:

Back to Top