Mass. officials unveil throat cancer study at BIO convference

Boosting the state’s international partnerships, Massachusetts officials Tuesday unveiled a multinational research study on throat cancer and a joint US-EU connected health conference set for Boston in October.

State Senate president Therese Murray, a Democrat from Plymouth, made the announcement in the Massachusetts Pavilion at the Biotechnology Industry Organization convention in Boston.

The research collaboration, which will be led by Dr. Ramon Franco of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, will include doctors and scientists from Finland, Northern Ireland, and the Catalonia region of Spain.


The collaboration grew out of meetings of the Northern Ireland Massachusetts Connection, an informal group formed in 2009.

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The goal is to find a noninvasive way to determine which polyps in pre-malignant lesions pose cancer risks.

“Research is not a solo project or endeavor,” Franco told a news conference Tuesday.

The US-EU conference, the first held outside of Washington, D.C., will focus on promoting electronic health collaboration. The conference will take place Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.

Together these events “highlight Massachusetts as a leader in health care and biotechnology, not only in the United States but all around the world,” Murray said.

Robert Weisman can be reached at