The Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies offers new hope to patients and their families at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and beyond, as the center defines the future of cancer therapy.
Led by Keith T. Flaherty, M.D., the Director of the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies, and a pioneer in personalized cancer medicines, the Termeer Center offers a comprehensive translational research program to speed the discovery and delivery of new targeted therapies to patients with early and advanced stage cancers.
The Termeer Center brings together cutting-edge research resources and provides a foundation for collaborations among physicians and investigators from a broad spectrum of biomedical disciplines, resulting in a rapidly expanding arsenal of weapons against cancer. Leading specialists from the Cancer Center’s 24 disease centers participate in the Termeer Center by enrolling their patients in its fast-growing portfolio of Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical trials.
The Termeer Center’s goal is to cut the average time for drug development from ten years to five and, with more clinical trials, improve access to therapy for patients. With hundreds of new anti-cancer therapies now in the development pipeline and countless patients waiting for targeted drugs that match their individual tumors, the Termeer Center’s work is vital and timely.
Unique Resources and Strengths:
The Translational Research Laboratory enables SNaPshot genotyping for more than 130 gene mutations commonly found in patients’ tumors. Mass General was the first institution to provide this capability in a clinical setting, and investigators are now working on next generation sequencing, which will have the capacity to detect and analyze thousands of additional mutations.
Investigators in the Center for Molecular Therapeutics screen 1,100 human cancer cell lines derived from tumors of virtually every tissue type, including breast, brain, colon, lung, pancreas, kidney, stomach, skin and blood, to identify which genetically-defined subgroups within cancers are sensitive to new molecularly-targeted therapies. The results from this high-throughput screening process inform the selection of patients for subsequent clinical trials investigating these drugs.
Strong partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies – resulting from a long history of positive collaborations with industry, as well as Mass General leadership of national and international cancer forums – provide access to developmental drugs and generate resources to fund early phase clinical trials.
The Mass General Cancer Center treats 16,000 patients each year, including 7,000 new patients. High patient volume is vital to a successful clinical trials program. Additionally, the Cancer Center has long-term relationships with other leading institutions around the world, as well as with community-based cancer centers, enabling collaborative, multi-site, Mass General-led trials.