A lab-turned-hospital for mice in Boston is helping researchers understand cancer in humans.
Maybe this sounds like the opening line to one of those wasteful-spending reports, but it’s not. And the results — while still a long way from producing a treatment — have allowed researchers to gain insight into the links between cancer and a handful of mutated genes.
New York Times reporter Gina Kolkata describes the “hospital” at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: imaging devices writ small with a dedicated pharmacy and clinical lab. She follows researchers that are looking into prostate cancer.
Mice are injected with a few rogue genes, and researchers monitor any tumors that develop. Initial treatment is similar to what humans in the same situation could expect; even the expected complications are the same. As in humans, the standard treatment works for only so long before the tumors begin resisting. Continue reading →
Large medical centers across the U.S. are investing in a burgeoning area of healthcare for their cancer patients: “precision medicine.” Substantial investments are being made to not only build new laboratory facilities and purchase research equipment, but also to staff these new facilities. Universities like Weill Cornell Medical College, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins University are joining clinical centers like Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in building an infrastructure for personalized medicine with the hope of playing a bigger role in the development of new drugs. Continue reading →