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UMass Lands $2M for Cancer Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Massachusetts will use a $2 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to establish a Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy (CPTC) on its Boston campus.

A joint effort between UMass Boston and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the CPCT will seek to develop tests for determining sub-types of common cancers in order to make prognoses on treatment responses and other decisions. The center intends to prepare, distribute, and commercialize those antibody-based tests.

Another aim of the center will be to address racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality.

The facility will drive basic research findings into products, and it will seek collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Through these partnerships, the CPCT plans to develop and sell clinical test kits for detailed sub-type analysis of individual patient tumors.

The $2 million in funding for the center will supplement $18 million in federal funding the project has received. The CPCT will start conducting its operations in UMass Boston's Venture Development Center, and it eventually will move into the Integrated Sciences Complex, which is scheduled to open in 2013.

"We are pleased to support an initiative that will address the long-standing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities that exist in cancer care as well as improve the quality of care for all cancer patients," Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Susan Windham-Bannister said in a statement.

"This project will provide training for the next generation of life sciences workers, foster the growth of new companies, advance scientific knowledge about cancer prevention and treatment and create jobs," Banniseter added.