Posted: August 21, 2020
The Chen-Huang Center for EGFR Mutant Lung Cancers, founded at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute earlier this year, is poised to make advances in the study and treatment of this subset of lung cancer. Funded through a $5 million gift from Winston Chen, PhD, and his wife Phyllis Huang, the Chen-Huang Center is a “virtual” structure, as opposed to a physical building. Development of the center is being led by Pasi Janne, MD, PhD, who, along with colleagues at Dana Farber, discovered the EGFR mutation in 2004 and who has focused his research on its continued study.
According to Dr. Janne, the center will represent a “concentrated and focused effort” to understand and treat EGFR-mutant lung cancer. The center will study germline mutations, develop new and novel models from patient biopsies, and provide all patients with the latest information and the same level of exposure to clinical trials. “Everything will happen under one lens,” Dr. Janne said. Although there has been a delay in hiring staff due to COVID-19, the hope is to have several vital positions filled by the end of summer. There are also plans to create a website for the center and interaction opportunities using webbased and remote technology to expand access to those outside of the Boston area.
Dr. Janne also aims to include other medical specialties, including a dedicated dermatologist, radiologist, surgeon, and others who specialize in EGFR-mutant lung cancer in order to find “new and novel ways to treat EGFR[-mutant] lung cancer.” He envisions the center as becoming a place that could provide education for thoracic oncologists and possibly collaborate with other institutions.
The Chen-Huang Center represents the “first dedicated effort in studying and treating EGFR[-mutant] lung cancer,” Dr. Janne said. “We hope that the attention the center brings will spur more focus on this subset of lung cancer so [that patients]can live longer and better.” ✦