Cancer Research at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Working Together in the Fight against Cancer
At Maine Medical Center, we conduct medical research so that we can give you and your loved ones the best possible care, close to home. The ultimate goal of all our research is to develop evidence-based, best-practice approaches in cancer care for our patients.
Our scientists and clinicians work together in the fight against cancer, one of the most challenging medical issues of our time. In our laboratories, at the bedside, and in our community, our extensive medical research programs strive to improve patient care and outcomes by providing access to leading-edge treatment options and quality care. Our outstanding educational and research programs help attract and retain some of the nation’s top doctors and nurses, making MMC a better hospital.
Scientists and clinicians at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) conduct nationally competitive biomedical research at one of the largest hospital-based research centers in northern New England. MMCRI conducts innovative research across the full spectrum of biomedical research, bringing findings from the laboratory to the bedside, and taking insights from the bedside back to the lab. MMCRI researchers are working to develop new treatment and diagnostic tools, conduct clinical research trials, and study the effectiveness of healthcare delivery in the community.
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Clinical Trials: Vital to Improving Patient Care
Clinical trials test and compare new treatment and diagnostic tools against those typically in use today. Patients participating in clinical trials have access to the latest experimental treatments. For some patients, these experimental treatments can offer hope after standard treatments have failed. Clinical research is underway at MMC and in our community on numerous fronts, including:
- New England Cancer Specialists, Maine's largest private oncology group practice, works closely with the Research Institute to provide our patients access to novel cancer treatments that may not be available elsewhere in the state.
- The Maine Children's Cancer Program has an exceptionally strong children's cancer research program. As a member of the Children's Oncology Group, which is the world's premier childhood cancer research organization, the program is involved in active clinical research and trials that offer young patients access to the latest and best therapies under investigation.
- MMC Cancer Institute is actively involved in radiation oncology research, enhancing patients' quality of life and alleviating the side effects related to cancer treatment. Our radiation oncology team is the only one in Maine that is a member of the national Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.
- MMC Cancer Institute's Surgical Oncology department is engaged in clinical trials relating to liver and pancreatic cancer, and cutting-edge treatment options for certain abdominal tumors.
- The gynecologic oncology team provides access to novel therapies through the practice's active clinical trials program and participation in the national Gynecologic Oncology Group cooperative.
- The Neuro Oncology Program remains on the leading edge of therapy by participating in basic, translational, and clinical research, in collaboration with New England Cancer Specialists and the Radiation Oncology Program.
MMC is a leader in the enrollment of patients to clinical trials, with an accrual rate nearly double the national benchmark for hospitals our size. Our trials span a wide range of options, including treatment trials from National Cancer Institute-sponsored cooperative groups and investigator-initiated studies as well as from pharmaceutical companies. We also offer symptom management and biomarkers trials. Our physicians strive to ensure that our patients have clinical trials options throughout their continuum of care from first diagnosis to recurrent disease.
Basic and Translational Research: Today's Discoveries, Tomorrow's Cures
Tomorrow's cures will be identified and tested at institutions like MMCRI. Scientists and doctors at Maine Medical Center and MMCRI are unlocking many of the mysteries surrounding cancer prevention, diagnosis, and care, and we are working hard to bring that knowledge as quickly as possible to patients. Basic research helps us better understand the underlying mechanisms of a disease, creating the foundation for breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment. Translational research investigates ways to turn this knowledge into new diagnostics and treatments.
Research has made inroads into repressing cancer cell migration and invasion; improving outcomes in bone marrow transplantation; increasing the availability of cancer-related clinical trials; reducing side effects related to chemotherapy-induced anemia; discovering a new cancer metastasis biomarker; inhibiting tumor growth; and bringing a promising blood test for cancer diagnosis and surveillance closer to reality. As in most other academic centers, MMC also has an extensive "banking" facility that helps research investigators obtain tissue samples for molecular genetics research.
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MMCRI Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE)
The Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation is an integral part of MMCRI. CORE was established to support and catalyze clinical and health services research throughout the institution. With its complement of clinical investigators, research scientists, epidemiologists, data analysts, research assistants, and administrative support staff, CORE provides the ideal environment for supporting a variety of research projects, including new approaches to helping patients and providers make better, more informed treatment decisions.
Using Informatics to Improve the Quality of Cancer Care
MMC has what is arguably the most robust medical informatics program in the state. As Maine’s only teaching hospital accredited as a Commission on Cancer institution, the medical center maintains a comprehensive cancer registry. This is a repository of data drawn from medical records on the incidence of cancer, and it includes demographic, pathologic, quality-of-life outcomes and cancer-specific outcomes of patients treated at MMC.
MMC Research Institute
81 Research Drive
Scarborough, ME 04074
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE)
509 Forest Avenue, Suite 200
Portland, ME 04101
MMC Cancer Institute Oncology Information Services
51 US Rt. 1
Scarborough, ME 04074
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