START Center to Open Lisbon, Portugal Location

First oncology early phase clinical trials unit in Portugal to offer leading-edge cancer treatments

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 16, 2022The START Center for Cancer Care, a San Antonio-based oncology early-phase clinical research site network, will open Portugal’s first facility in Lisbon in late 2022. START Center’s agreement with Hospital de Santa Maria – Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte (CHLN) will expand access to leading-edge cancer treatments for patients. START Center operates five existing locations across the United States and Spain, which makes it one of the largest early-phase clinical research sites in the world.

“We are dedicated to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments to improve patients’ quality of life,” START Center President and Founder Lon S. Smith, M.D. said. “Providing access to early-phase and first-in-human research studies around the globe is crucial to the advancement of oncology.”

Dozens of the START Center’s early-phase clinical trials resulted in commercially available drugs that are commonly administered cancer treatments today. “Our facility will treat patients who have exhausted all other known alternatives,” START Lisbon Medical Director Luis Antonio Marques da Costa, M.D., Ph.D. said. “Portuguese patients will have access to innovative medicines that were not available in our country previously. This research is a life-changing endeavor for people around the world.”

André Mansinho, M.D., who trained in the START Center’s drug development fellowship program based in Madrid, Spain, will serve as the principal investigator and primary medical oncologist at START Lisbon.

About The START Center, LLC

The START Center for Cancer Care is a leading clinical research network with three sites in the United States – San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Mich. and Salt Lake City, Utah – and two in Madrid, Spain. Established in San Antonio in 2007 by President Lon S. Smith, M.D. and a group of cancer researchers, START Center has completed more than 1,050 early-phase trials and contributed to the FDA approval of 36 cancer drugs. For more information, visit

About Hospital de Santa Maria – Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte (CHLN)

Hospital de Santa Maria-Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte (CHLN) is the largest university hospital in Portugal and it is part of the Lisbon Academic Medical Centre, including the Lisbon medical school (Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa) and a research Institute (lnstituto de Medicina Molecular – iMM), which promotes the interaction between clinicians and scientists.