Capitalizing on Research and Clinical in the UMass
Memorial Cancer Center
By Dario Altieri, MD, Director, UMass Memorial Cancer Center
This article originally appeared in Pathways, a magazine
published for physicians and the community by UMass Memorial Medical
|Dario Altieri, MD
It is not
just an impression due to increased media coverage. Finally, after decades of
research and clinical intervention, we are making big strides in our fight
against cancer. We are testing new, smart drugs that kill cancer cells and spare
normal tissues. We are improving the technology for early diagnosis so that a
tumor can be removed before it spreads beyond its borders. We are more aware of
the pollutants in our environment and how they constitute a risk to our health.
The progress is tangible and has already made a clear difference. While cancer
incidence is in general on the rise, our patients live longer and better lives
thanks to recent progress.
So, where do we go from here? What can we do to capitalize on these
successes, and provide our patients and their families with even better options
and solutions? And, just as important, what can we do here, in our backyard, to
fulfill the promise of cancer care in the 21st century?
Born out of a long-range partnership between the University of Massachusetts
Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care, the UMass Memorial Cancer Center
is ready to tackle these challenges and provide comprehensive cancer care in
Our mission is clear and threefold. Be the best in cancer research and
education, put our patients paramount in everything we do, and enhance cancer
awareness and prevention in our communities.
Our approach to cancer care is synergy and integration. The synergy is
between our physicians and researchers working together to move new discoveries
from the laboratory to the bedside as fast and as safely as possible. The
integration is between our multiple cancer specialists, including surgeons,
internists, diagnostic and therapeutic radiologists, oncologists, pathologists
and psychologists. In our comprehensive model of cancer care, these specialists
are working together under the same roof to provide our patients, during a
single visit, that unique multidisciplinary consultation that is needed to
tackle all aspects of cancer.
Our progress in these directions is substantial. New outpatient facilities
demonstrate our comprehensive model of cancer care; new research laboratories on
the University Campus are being staffed with outstanding researchers coming to
Worcester from premier institutions around the country; and new public
initiatives will introduce our doctors and researchers to the communities that
It is this comprehensive culture and philosophy of integration that makes the
UMass Memorial Cancer Center a world-class resource for outstanding cancer care
in Central Massachusetts.