Mass. Life Sciences Center doles out $2 million for Dana Farber/UMass personalized cancer center

January 28, 2011 by MassDevice staff

UMass-Boston and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center land a $2 million grant from the Mass. Life Sciences Center to help launch a joint Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy.

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Mass. Life Sciences Center awarded the University of Massachusetts-Boston and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center a $2 million grant for their efforts to jointly develop personalized cancer treatments.

The organizations will conduct their research at the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, slated to open this winter at UMass-Boston.

The goal is to develop cost-effective tests for diagnosing different sub-types of all common cancers with antibody-based assays, with an eye toward eventual commercialization. One of the center's main aims is to address the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality, according to the MLSC.

"We thank the board of directors of the Mass. Life Sciences Center for this important support for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center–UMass-Boston partnership and in the fight against disparities in cancer treatment and outcomes," UMass-Boston chancellor J. Keith Motley said in prepared remarks.

"The new center will help us address our community’s needs for justice in accessing cutting-edge cancer treatment," Motley said.

"If there is one thing that we’ve learned about cancer during the past quarter century, it is that cancer is not one disease but instead hundreds, and each cancer is often unique to each patient," added Dana-Farber president Dr. Edward Benz Jr.

The MLSC grant will supplement $18 million in previously committed federal funding for the project. Construction of a permanent home for the CPCT at UMass-Boston’s Integrated Sciences Complex is slated to begin this spring, with an anticipated opening in fall 2013, according to the MLSC.