Thoracic Surgery Research involves many projects that have emerged from years of interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration among researchers at the Brigham and Harvard Medical Area interested in mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer that can affect the membrane lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The strategic approach has been to build an integrated research effort among multiple disciplines each contributing to a different aspect of the program. All projects share access to patients, clinical samples, and a central database of patient and research data. Only patients who consent will be studied. Each project is ultimately designed to improve patient therapy and outcome.
The Epidemiology Project will collect patient history and exposure data to assess genetic susceptibility factors for development of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The basic science and preclinical projects (Growth Regulatory Lesions in Mesothelial Oncogenesis, Kinase Targets and Genomic-based Projects) will contribute to the biology of MPM development, discover and validate molecular markers or targets, and develop targeted therapies. The Clinical Management Project will attract patients, track outcome data, supply patient blood and tissue samples to the other projects, and assess new options for diagnostic tools, chemotherapy, surgery and post-treatment care. Synergistic progress is expected from the coordinated efforts of the proposed studies.