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Mayo and MIT receive grant for Physical Sciences-Oncology Center

Mayo Clinic and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been awarded a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center. The NCI launched Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers, a network of centers investigating complex and challenging questions in cancer research from a physical sciences perspective, in 2009.

Jann Sarkaria, M.D. (RADO ’97), Mayo Clinic Department of Radiation Oncology, is co-principal investigator of the MIT/Mayo Physical Sciences Center for Drug Distribution and Drug Efficacy in Brain Tumors.

Mayo Clinic and MIT investigators hope to learn more about the physical parameters that limit drug delivery into brain tumors and use this information to build models. The models will help physicians better predict how the body will distribute a particular drug to brain tumors and help them select the best drug to treat each patient based on his or her unique tumor.

“The most common types of brain tumors – brain metastases originating from cancers outside of the brain and glioblastoma – have regions that are protected from most drugs,” says Dr. Sarkaria. “Low-level drug exposure in these regions can promote drug resistance, and that may be why there have been no new effective drug treatments for brain tumors in more than a decade.”



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