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100% of your fundraising dollars are donated directly to the UMass Cancer Center
The funds raised will help support cancer research, clinical trials and patient care right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Cancer Research Office (CRO) is a shared resource that provides clinical research support services to investigators conducting cancer relevant clinical research. The three major functions of the CRO are to:
To support these functions, the CRO provides clinical trials administration to assist in the preparation and processing of all regulatory, contractual and Institutional Review Board (IRB) documents related to institutional, cooperative group and pharmaceutical sponsored protocols for members of the Cancer Center. For a list of open and active trails that have IRB approval, please go to www.umassmed.edu/ccoe/Cancer-Center-Clinical-Trials.
In an August 12, 2015, letter to the New York Times, the CEOs of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance called intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy "one of the greatest clinical advances to date for treating ovarian cancer."
Notably, this important treatment is available at the UMass Memorial Cancer Center – and has been since 1998 – extending survival in hundreds of women for whom this therapeutic approach has been an option. In fact, UMass Memorial not only was one of the first in the state to adopt this life-extending treatment, but remains the only hospital in Central Massachusetts to offer it.
As one of the first labs of its kind in the nation – and the only one in Central Massachusetts – the UMass Memorial Laboratory of Diagnostic Molecular Oncology remains on the forefront of helping oncologists provide personalized treatment to cancer patients.
"While personalized cancer treatment is still in its infancy, there is real momentum," says Lloyd Hutchinson, PhD, technical director of the lab. "Today, we can understand exactly what mutations are driving the growth of each patient’s cancer so physicians can tailor treatment for the best-possible results. And we’ve made real progress in this area this year."
In September 2015, the National Cancer Institute’s Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH) trial opened at the UMass Memorial Cancer Center. This multi-site, nationwide clinical trial analyzes patients’ tumors to determine if they contain genetic abnormalities for which a targeted drug exists, and assigns treatment based on the abnormality – with the aim of determining if treating cancers according to their molecular abnormalities will prove effective.
“This is one of the first major studies of its kind,” says Jan Cerny, MD, PhD, director of the UMass Memorial Leukemia Program and principal investigator for the trial at the medical center. “Our participation demonstrates that patients in our community have access to world-class oncology care and clinical trials.”
To facilitate this at UMass Memorial, Palliative Care has embedded an outpatient clinic at the Cancer Center and an inpatient consult team at both University and Memorial campuses.
"We collaborate with the oncologist to help manage patients’ pain and difficult symptoms," says Suzana Makowski, MD, MMM, FACP, FAAHPM, co-chief of Palliative Care. "We also provide support for the family and identify resources in the community for practical support at home.
"We also work alongside the oncologist to discuss prognosis and goals," she continues. "If the disease is incurable, we help figure out what’s important to the patient because their goals should drive their care."
Learn more about your impact by reading our UMass Memorial Medical Center 2015 Annual Report of the Cancer Committee.