December 15, 2020:

After more than 20 years in cancer research, Borys Hrinczenko, MD, PhD, sees a bright future. As a lung cancer specialist at the Michigan State University Breslin Cancer Center, he has led numerous clinical trials and helped pioneer new therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, harnessing the body’s immune system against lung cancer. Twenty years ago, he could offer his lung cancer patients few viable treatments.

More recently, “I’ve had patients who have done quite well” on checkpoint inhibitors, Hrinczenko said. That includes a small group of long-term survivors with advanced lung cancer.

He expects more breakthroughs as the Breslin Cancer Center looks forward to moving into a new hospital in early 2022 now being built by McLaren Health Care in partnership with MSU and adjacent to the East Lansing campus. Breslin is reorganizing its clinical trials office to improve efficiency and forming alliances with several other cancer groups, including the Karmanos Cancer Institute, which is part of McLaren.

MSU’s membership in the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) is a key to that bright future. Hrinczenko is a member of the Consortium’s Steering Committee and its Thoracic Clinical Trial Working Group. He is an associate professor in the MSU College of Human Medicine and director of the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program.

The Big Ten CRC is “well-organized,” Hrinczenko said. “That is especially important, because it gives us the opportunity to work with a large group of cancer researchers to interact and share new ideas.

“In my own area of research, they have such a great lung cancer working group that offers clinical trials that are very important to us.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a slowdown in some research, particularly the ability to recruit patients for clinical trials, Hrinczenko said, but “we’re now back on track in a return-to-research mode.

“Everything is really looking up at MSU for cancer research,” he added. “The future is very bright, and we’re moving in the right direction.”


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit