Cancer Center of Excellence

The focus of the Cancer Center of Excellence is translational oncology research. The underlying principle of the center is to combine an understanding of the biology of cancer with innovative and effective measures for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

The center views cancer care as a continuum, which requires the mandatory awareness, diagnosis, follow-up and treatment. Cancer center programs are based upon the premise that the molecular underpinnings of every tumor are distinct, even though some genetic signatures may be seen in common with tumors regardless of their embryonic origins. Therefore, programs are built on the uniqueness of each disease site.

The measure of excellence of the UMMCC resides in the ability to design, support, develop and implement homegrown, investigator-initiated innovative clinical trials in all aspects of oncology prevention/epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. To achieve this objective the center is developing and fostering a culture of integration and cooperation between basic, clinical and investigational sciences relevant to oncology. UMMCC is being organized along specific programs, designed to achieve excellence in basic and clinical research. Current programs include:

  • Women’s Cancer/Breast Cancer
  • Hematologic Malignancies
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers,
  • Genitourinary Cancers
  • Cancer Risks Behavior an
  • Developmental Therapeutics

Additional programs in Neuro-Oncology and Lung Cancer are under development and slated for additional faculty recruitment and programmatic expansion.

Dr. Giles Whalen, MD is Professor and Vice Chair of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery and currently serving as Interim Director of the Cancer Center of Excellence here at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, MA. Dr. Whalen is clinically active as a general surgeon caring for patients with a variety of cancers.

If you are a patient, family member or are looking for information on cancer treatment, please visit this website:


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