Cancer

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Cancer Program

Funding

  • Tumor Microenvironment PO1
  • PDAC PO1
  • Molecular Imaging Center P50
  • Cancer Nanotechnology U54
  • SAIRP U24
  • GI Spore

The Cancer Program brings together a scientific community focused on understanding in vivo cancer biology at the systems level and applying this knowledge to early cancer detection and therapy assessment. Program members work within CSB, the MGH Cancer Center and/or other MGH laboratories. Strong collaborations exist also with the MIT Center for Cancer Research, the Harvard Cancer Center and the Broad Institute. Currently, major areas of interest include:

Early cancer detection and innovative diagnostics

Detection of stage I cancers is associated with >90% 5-year survival rate, and treatment is often curative. This program defines molecular and cellular alterations that signal the presence of (pre)cancers and develops novel diagnostic platforms such as endoscopic fiber-optic microscopy for noninvasive in vivo screens.

Drug efficacy

Todays molecularly targeted therapeutics often dictate objective efficacy read-outs as these therapeutics are often costly, only work well in subgroups of patients and so those associated toxicity in non-target populations can be minimized. This program develops and tests novel read-outs of emerging therapeutics. Another aspect of this program is the development of nanotechnology–based diagnostic and therapeutic (‘theranostic’) agents.

Pathway analysis

The key role played by kinases in the vast majority of cancer suggests that specific inhibitors whose disposition could be ascertained in vivo would be useful in biological research and, potentially, for imaging kinase acitivity in a clinical setting. The program uses novel tools to identify kinase and other molecular signatures in cancer cells, and to interrogate the effects of anti-kinases and other drugs on these pathways.

Recent Publications (more...)

Shah N, Wang P, Wongvipat J, Karthaus WR, Abida W, Armenia J, Rockowitz S, Drier Y, Bernstein BE, Long HW, Freedman ML, Arora VK, Zheng D, Sawyers CL
Regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor via a BET-dependent enhancer drives antiandrogen resistance in prostate cancer.
eLife. 2017;6:ePub - PMID: 28891793 - PMCID: PMC5593504
Kakkar A, Traverso G, Farokhzad OC, Weissleder R, Langer R
Evolution of macromolecular complexity in drug delivery systems
Nat Rev Chem. 2017;1:0063
Miller MA, Weissleder R
Imaging the pharmacology of nanomaterials by intravital microscopy: Toward understanding their biological behavior
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2017;113:61-86
Oza AM, Tinker AV, Oaknin A, Shapira-Frommer R, McNeish IA, Swisher EM, Ray-Coquard I, Bell-McGuinn K, Coleman RL, O'Malley DM, Leary A, Chen LM, Provencher D, Ma L, Brenton JD, Konecny GE, Castro CM, Giordano H, Maloney L, Goble S, Lin KK, Sun J, Raponi M, Rolfe L, Kristeleit RS
Antitumor activity and safety of the PARP inhibitor rucaparib in patients with high-grade ovarian carcinoma and a germline or somatic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation: Integrated analysis of data from Study 10 and ARIEL2.
Gynecol Oncol. 2017;:ePub - PMID: 28882436

Recent News (more...)

2017-09-18: The work of Lee Lab on detecting and profiling circulating ovarian cancer cells is highlighted on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) site.
2017-09-11: "Uncovering Cancer" - the work of Pittet Lab is featured in Nature Medicine article.
2017-08-10: CSB has been named as one of the NCI Innovative Research in Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCNs). The IRCNs engage in directed, product-focused research that aims to translate cutting-edge science and technology into the next generation of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. These platforms serve as the core technologies for a wide array of specific applications that will ultimately benefit cancer patients.
2017-06-05: CSB work is profiled in MGH Research Institute spotlight "Mass General Researchers Investigate the ‘Big Eaters’ of the Immune System: #MacrophageMonday"
2016-10-07: Divya Pathania, PhD was selected to receive Translational Research Award for Lymphoma-D3 project at MGH Clinical Research Day. Congratulations, Divya!