- 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.
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.
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.