Translational Research Lab

The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is committed to advancing oncology care by tailoring treatment options to the individual cancer patient. The basic mission of the Translational Research Laboratory is to provide rapid personalized genomic testing as an important component of routine care, thereby minimizing generalizations made in treatment decisions. Identifying the right drugs based on susceptible molecular alterations offers the hope of improving cancer treatment success on a case-by-case basis. Our focus is to work closely with clinicians to bring personalized medicine to the forefront of patient care, in a manner that assures the highest quality standards. Recent experience has provided proof-of-principle for this approach in selected patients and tumor types, and the number of cases in which this approach will be helpful is expected to grow.

The Cancer Center and Pathology Department have jointly developed this laboratory as a culmination of our experiences integrating clinical research with patient care. Emphasis is placed on the pursuit of institutional collaborations, where pathologists, oncologists and basic scientists work closely together. Innovative research tools are used to incorporate basic research findings into improved patient care. Clinical observations that arise from these integrated approaches guide research in new directions, providing the cornerstone of advanced translational research. Incorporating the diverse expertise of distinguished members of our scientific and clinical community, across all cancer disease centers, assures that the most important findings and approaches are integrated into the front lines of patient care.

A strategy that is currently being explored to maximize efficacy of novel therapies in clinical trials is enrollment of patients based on an underlying genetic fingerprint that is most likely to compliment the drug’s actions. The Translational Research Laboratory is working to develop prescreening assays to identify the most relevant patient group and reduce the use of therapies that have little chance of success in a particular individual. Such a genotype-directed approach also has the advantage of extending access across cancer types, regardless of tumor location or cancer rarity.

How can we help?

Contact the Cancer Center to learn more about the testing and treatment options at Mass General.
  • Call 617-726-0808