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Cancer Center

Why Should You Choose the Tufts Cancer Center?

The Tufts Cancer Center in downtown Boston has a rich history of providing exceptional patient care and conducting innovative and ground breaking cancer research and clinical trials that continues today. If you’re trying to decide on a hospital for you or a loved one’s treatment, look no further than the Tufts Cancer Center.

Why, you might ask?

Strong History

  1. The Tufts Cancer Center’s Division of Hematology was founded by Dr William Dameshek, a founder of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the first editor of its journal Blood, and one of the world’s most preeminent hematologists. In his name, one of the most prestigious awards in hematology (i.e., the Dameshek Award) is given each year at the ASH meeting.
  2. The Tufts Cancer Center is the birthplace of "immunosuppression.” Robert Schwartz, MD, former Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Tufts MC together with Dr. Dameshek discovered the immunosuppressive effects of the chemical 6-mercaptopurine, which ushered in the modern era of immunosuppression and organ transplantation. For this, Dr. Schwartz won the Medawar Prize in 2000, transplantation's highest honor.
  3. Emeritus Professor, Dr. Jane Desforges, widely recognized as a distinguished physician and outstanding educator, she was on the Board of Governors for ABIM, a member of the Institute of Medicine, and was one of only 6 women (the 2nd) to serve as President of ASH.
  4. Tufts MC was one of the performed the first bone marrow transplants in Boston in 1959, which was among one of the first blood transplants performed in the world; the BMT program continues vibrantly today.
  5. In 1984, Dean Louis Lasagna founded the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (Tufts CSDD), the most frequently quoted source of information on drug development in the world. 
  6. The landmark ‘Medical Outcomes Study’, which gave rise to the one of the most widely used patient-reported outcomes (PROs) instruments in the world, the SF-36, was conducted at Tufts. The Center for Health Solutions led by, Dr. Susan Parsons continues its interdisciplinary work with medicine, clinical epidemiology, psychometrics, mathematics, and sociology, leading to the development of an array of PROs used in clinical trials and clinical research worldwide.

  7. Dr. Marc Homer, Emeritus Chief of Mammography, invented the Homer Needle to isolate breast tumors under imaging, which is still used today.
  8. Tufts MC created one of the first 3 multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Programs founded in the US, which has been continuously in operation since the 1970's.  Scientists and clinicians with specialty in breast cancer meet every month for exchange of ideas and development of innovative research, which is led by Dr. Jack Erban.

Exceptional Patient Care

  1. Tufts MC uniquely provides bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to patients of all ages (pediatric and adult). Furthermore, our Neely Transplant Unit for Pediatric Oncology is a state-of-the-art unit that includes accommodations for parents and families within the unit.  
  2. The Adult BMT and HSCT program, under the direction of Dr. Kellie Sprague and Dr. Andreas Klein, is fully accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapies (FACT) and the National Marrow Donor Program, and performs autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants for patients with hematologic malignancies.
  3. The first, largest, and most innovative Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) program in New England for the treatment of Peritoneal Malignancies is led by Martin Goodman MD of the Department of Surgery.
  4. Tufts MC provides state-of-the-art radiotherapy for all types of malignant disease and certain benign conditions. This includes the only Gamma Knife in Northern New England for treatment of cancer.
  5. The Neely House is a unique residential facility which has cared for over 6000 families since its founding. It remains the only “in house” facility in Boston helping cancer patients and their families during their treatment. The Neely House is made possible by the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, which was launched in 1995 by the Neely family to honor their parents Marlene and Michael Neely who succumbed to cancer. The special relationship with Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center ensures easy access to Boston's world-renowned medical facilities and unmatched compassionate care.
  6. Graduates of our training program, under the direction of Dr. Rachel Buchsbaum, have served as NCI Cancer Center Directors, Deputy Directors, Chiefs of Hematology/Oncology, and other in Key leadership positions throughout the United States and World Wide.
  7. The Tufts Cancer Center is supported by the Massachusetts "Cure Breast Cancer License Plate", the only Plate supporting breast cancer research in Massachusetts.
  8. Expert surgical treatment of cancer patients at Tufts MC is conducted by the Divisions of Surgical Oncology (Roger Graham, MD, Director), Thoracic Surgery (Laurence Brinckerhoff, MD, Director), and Colorectal Surgery (James Yoo, MD, Director), Head and Neck Cancers (Richard Wein,MD,  Director), Urology (Gennaro Carpinito, MD, Chair), and Neurosurgical Oncology (Julian Wu, MD, Chief). 
  9. Particular emphasis is placed on minimally invasive surgery for cancer patients including robotic and video-assisted thoracic and urologic surgery procedures (Da Vinci robot), trans-anal endoscopic microsurgery for rectal cancer. 
  10. Exemplary multidisciplinary (Multi-D) tumor programs in complex liver tumors, complex brain tumors, breast cancer, lung cancer, head and Neck Cancer and hematologic malignancies (e.g., lymphoma, plasma cell diseases, and lymphomas).  This includes weekly Multi-D cancer conferences of these and other cancers involving multiple cancer specialists (e.g., surgeons, hematologists/oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, neuro-oncologists) meeting together to discuss every new cancer patient at Tufts MC to in part to develop individualized and sophisticated treatment plans.
  11. World class cancer experts in hematologic malignancies (e.g., Dr. Raymond Comenzo in multiple myeloma and amyloidosis; Dr. Kenneth Miller in leukemias and MDS; Dr. Andrew Evens in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma).
  12. The Reid Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program, staffed by pediatric and medical oncologists, is a unique New England program focused on survivorship of cancer patients 18-39 years of age.
  13. A world class Sickle Cell program continues at Tufts MC with a Multi-D effort involving coordination and collaboration of multiple medical specialties.
  14. Community Oncology Disparities Initiative (CODI) focused on the unique linguistic, cultural, and logistical barriers patients of Asian origin face in dealing with cancer. A multilingual team of patient navigators, under the direction of Dr. Susan Parsons, support more than 150 patients, currently in active cancer care.

Unique and Innovative Cancer Research

  1. The Neely Center for Clinical Cancer Research (NCCCR) serves as the clinical trials office of the Tufts Cancer Center. The NCCCR mandate includes the development, implementation, and coordination of cutting edge cancer clinical trials, including investigator-initiated clinical trials, national cooperative group trials (ECOG-ACRIN, GOG, COG), and innovative pharmaceutical trials studying novel cancer therapeutics. 
  2. The Molecular Oncology Research Institute (MORI) serves as an independent institute with a focus on basic and translational cancer research for Tufts MC. An overarching focus of MORI is discovery of cancer pathogenesis and precision medicine (i.e., individualized cancer treatment).
  3. The Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University is a unique national resource and asset devoted to nutrition research and diseases of an aging population, including cancer.
  4. Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD). The CSDD at TUSM is an internationally recognized nonprofit academic research center with a mission to provide strategic information to help drug developers, regulators, and policy makers improve the quality and efficiency of pharmaceutical innovation.
  5. Tufts Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Tufts MC and Tufts University were jointly awarded an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which now funds the Tufts CTSI. Nationally, this CTSI network of medical research institutions across the nation are working to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, and to engage communities in clinical research efforts.  
  6. The Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center (ICRHPS) encompasses research programs in clinical and health policy research and training programs in clinical research.   Its research and expertise range from mathematical and analytic methods, through traditional clinical research, clinical epidemiology, health services research, to social sciences and health policy studies. Included in the ICRHPS are research centers: the Biostatistics Research Center; the Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis; the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health; the Center for Health Solutions; and Predictive Analytics and Comparative Effectiveness Center (PACE).
  7. Tufts School of Dental Medicine. The School of Dental Medicine brings a unique research focus on soft tissue engineering and cancer to the Tufts Cancer Center. Clinically, the Tufts School of Dental Medicine provides oral cancer screenings in all its Dental clinics, as well as providing clinical dental and oral surgical consultation services to the hospital for cancer patients. 
  8. Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) was established in 1893, and from its inception, it has been committed to basic and translational biomedical research in cancer.
  9. Tufts Veterinary School (and Comparative Oncology). Researchers and clinician scientists at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine provides the exceptional opportunity to study companion animals with spontaneous tumors and to advance knowledge of cancer biology and the development of novel cancer treatments.
  10. The Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences was established in 1980 in cooperation with the faculties of the TUSM, Dental Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and is located adjacent to Tufts MC on the downtown Tufts Health Sciences Campus.  The mission of the Sackler School is to graduate rigorously trained investigators in the biomedical sciences, placing special emphasis on research spanning basic, clinical and translational disciplines.  
  11. The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University was established in 1981 with the mission of bringing together biomedical, social, political, and behavioral scientists to conduct research, educational, and community–service programs to improve the nutritional health and well–being of populations throughout the world. It is the only graduate school of Nutrition in the United States.
  12. Tufts University (Medford Campus). Faculty in the School of Engineering, particularly in the Department of Biomedical Engineering headed by Cancer Center member Dr. David Kaplan, bring expertise in imaging, biomedical devices, nanotechnology, and tissue engineering.