The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute-Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (DFCI-PSOC) will promote the understanding of cancer evolution and treatment responses utilizing approaches from the physical and experimental sciences. The PSOC will assemble and develop a trans- disciplinary team, research and training programs, and infrastructure organized around our physical sciences-based framework to address a fundamental question in cancer research: how can we utilize a quantitative, physical sciences-based understanding of the spatio-temporal aspects tumor evolution and treatment response to improve patient care? Our trans-disciplinary center will develop and test, individually and through collaborative trans-network activities, physical sciences-based experimental and theoretical concepts that complement and advance our current understanding of cancer biology and oncology. Specifically, the DFCI-PSOC aims to (i) Assemble and develop an integrated trans-disciplinary research team that will work closely together to develop and validate mathematical modeling strategies of cancer evolution and treatment response, and utilize these strategies to identify best therapeutic intervention schedules for hematologic, brain and breast malignancies, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. (ii) Develop and test, individually and through collaborative network activities, strategies for physical sciences-based measurements of single cell behavior of both animal model and human cancer samples, and utilize these measurements to inform mathematical modeling strategies of treatment response in hematologic, brain and breast malignancies. (iii) Integrate physical sciences perspectives into cancer research to complement and expand on our current understanding of cancer across many length-scales and time-scales, with the ultimate goal of improving cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. (iv) Disseminate our findings, approaches and methodologies to the PSOC network and the wider scientific community as well as implement education and outreach programs to interact with patients, students, researchers, advocates, and the general public. Together, the approaches and methodologies developed within the DFCI-PSOC will enable us to further our understanding of the physical principles underlying cancer evolution and treatment response with the ultimate goal of designing optimum intervention strategies for hematologic, brain and breast malignancies.

Public Health Relevance

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute-Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (DFCI-PSOC) will bring together a trans-disciplinary research team to advance our understanding of the physical principles that govern the response of tumor cell populations to treatment and the emergence of resistance. We will identify best treatment modalities based on single cell profiling of the physical parameters of cells for hematologic, brain and breast malignancies, and disseminate our methodologies and findings to the scientific community and general public. Average Scores of the Components: Overall: 2.0 Project 1: 2.1 Project 2: 1.9 Project 3: 2.0 Resource Core 1: 2.0 Education and Outreach: 2.4

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-TCRB-5 (J1))
Program Officer
Kuhn, Nastaran Z
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Independent Hospitals
United States
Zip Code
Stein, Shayna; Zhao, Rui; Haeno, Hiroshi et al. (2018) Mathematical modeling identifies optimum lapatinib dosing schedules for the treatment of glioblastoma patients. PLoS Comput Biol 14:e1005924
Hinohara, Kunihiko; Wu, Hua-Jun; Vigneau, S├ębastien et al. (2018) KDM5 Histone Demethylase Activity Links Cellular Transcriptomic Heterogeneity to Therapeutic Resistance. Cancer Cell 34:939-953.e9
Ozawa, Tatsuya; Arora, Sonali; Szulzewsky, Frank et al. (2018) A De Novo Mouse Model of C11orf95-RELA Fusion-Driven Ependymoma Identifies Driver Functions in Addition to NF-?B. Cell Rep 23:3787-3797
Cimino, Patrick J; Kim, Youngmi; Wu, Hua-Jun et al. (2018) Increased HOXA5 expression provides a selective advantage for gain of whole chromosome 7 in IDH wild-type glioblastoma. Genes Dev 32:512-523
Maley, Carlo C; Aktipis, Athena; Graham, Trevor A et al. (2017) Classifying the evolutionary and ecological features of neoplasms. Nat Rev Cancer 17:605-619
Dasgupta, Arko; Lim, Andrea R; Ghajar, Cyrus M (2017) Circulating and disseminated tumor cells: harbingers or initiators of metastasis? Mol Oncol 11:40-61
Gil Del Alcazar, Carlos R; Huh, Sung Jin; Ekram, Muhammad B et al. (2017) Immune Escape in Breast Cancer During In Situ to Invasive Carcinoma Transition. Cancer Discov 7:1098-1115
Kievit, Forrest M; Wang, Kui; Ozawa, Tatsuya et al. (2017) Nanoparticle-mediated knockdown of DNA repair sensitizes cells to radiotherapy and extends survival in a genetic mouse model of glioblastoma. Nanomedicine 13:2131-2139
Pattwell, Siobhan S; Holland, Eric C (2017) Putting Glioblastoma in Its Place: IRF3 Inhibits Invasion. Trends Mol Med 23:773-776
Peinado, H├ęctor; Zhang, Haiying; Matei, Irina R et al. (2017) Pre-metastatic niches: organ-specific homes for metastases. Nat Rev Cancer 17:302-317

Showing the most recent 10 out of 36 publications