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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana–Farber Cancer Institute
File:DFCI logo.png
Main campus at 450 Brookline Avenue
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Care system
Affiliated university Harvard Medical School
Emergency department No
Founded 1947

Dana–Farber Cancer Institute is part of a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is a major affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is located in the Longwood Medical Area in Boston, Massachusetts.


Dana-Farber employs more than 3,680 people and has annual revenues of about $800 million.[1] There are more than 299,202 adult and pediatric patient visits a year, and it is involved in more than 700 clinical trials. It is internationally known for its research and clinical excellence, having been ranked the fifth best cancer hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[2] Dana-Farber is a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium.

In addition to being a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber is also a federally designated Center for AIDS Research, and a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC),[3] a federally designated comprehensive cancer center. Providing advanced training in cancer treatment and research for an international faculty, Dana-Farber conducts community-based programs in cancer prevention, detection, and control throughout New England, and maintains joint programs with other Boston institutions affiliated with Harvard Medical School and the Partners HealthCare System, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dana-Farber is supported by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and private foundations and individuals contributions. The Jimmy Fund is the principal charity of the Institute named for one of its child patients. The Boston Red Sox adopted the Jimmy Fund as its official charity in 1953 and continues to prominently sponsor the charity.

Edward J. Benz, Jr., M.D. President / CEO of Dana–Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund, received $807,917 salary/compensation from the charity. This is the 3rd most money given by any charity to the head of a charity, according to Charity Watch.[4]


1947 - Sidney Farber, MD, founded the Children's Cancer Research Foundation.

1969 - The Institute officially expanded its programs to include patients of all ages.

1974 - It became known as the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute in honor of its founder.

1983 - The support of the Charles A. Dana Foundation was acknowledged by incorporating Dana's name.


Dana-Farber has a long history of breakthrough discoveries in cancer care and research.

  • 1947: Sidney Farber leads a team of researchers who are the first in the world to attain temporary remissions of acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most common cancer in children, using aminopterin. This, and another antifolate drug, Methotrexate used by Dr. Farber were discovered and supplied by Dr. Yellapragada Subbarao Director, Research at Lederle Co. at Pearl River, NY.
  • 1954: Farber and his colleagues achieve the first remissions of Wilms' tumor of the kidney, a common form of childhood cancer, and boost cure rates from 40 percent to 85 percent.
  • 1976: Researchers at the Sidney Farber Cancer Center (now Dana-Farber) develop a new treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia that produces the first complete remissions of the disease in up to half of all patients.
  • 1978: Institute investigators develop combination chemotherapy for soft-tissue sarcomas resulting in a 50-percent response rate.
  • 1982: Dana-Farber researchers develop and apply the CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer. They also are among the first to suspect a relationship between the retrovirus that causes human T-cell leukemia (HTLV-1) and that which causes AIDS (HIV-1).
  • 1984: The Dana–Farber Cancer Institute establishes the Molecular Biology Core Facilities (MBCF) to supply state of the art molecular biology tools to Institute researchers.
  • 1991: Dana-Farber investigators help introduce the use of naturally occurring growth hormones following high-dose chemotherapy, making bone marrow transplantation safer and more effective.
  • 1993: Dana-Farber investigators discover the gene that increases the risk for a common type of colon cancer. The MSH2 gene and later the MLH1 gene (also by DFCI investigators) are linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC).
  • 1996: Institute researchers dramatically advance the understanding of how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, replicates and infects healthy cells. Science magazine heralds this discovery as its "Breakthrough of the Year".
  • 1998: A drug called imatinib (Gleevec), the early work for which was done at Dana-Farber, achieves striking success in many patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
  • 1999: Working with colleagues at other hospitals, Dana-Farber scientists begin the first human studies of endostatin, one of a new generation of compounds that arrest or shrink tumors by shutting off their blood supply.
  • 2002: Dana-Farber researchers find that Gleevec, a targeted therapy that achieved striking success against chronic myelogenous leukemia, can shrink and even eliminate tumors in some patients with a rare and otherwise incurable digestive-tract cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
  • 2003: Scientists at Dana-Farber and the Whitehead Institute find a gene "signature" in several types of tumors that suggests they are likely to spread to other parts of the body, potentially leading to tests for determining whether tumors have the potential to metastasize.
  • 2005: Dana-Farber scientists report that the drug gefitinib (Iressa) produces dramatic benefits in non-small cell lung cancer patients who carry an abnormal version of a key protein, a potentially life-saving discovery for tens of thousands of patients around the world every year.

Care for adults with cancer

Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) is a collaboration between Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital to care for adults with cancer. Dana-Farber provides outpatient services, while inpatient care is provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital.

DF/BWCC cares for adult patients in more than a dozen specialized treatment centers, each devoted to helping people fight a different type of cancer. This coordinated arrangement makes it possible for many people to see all of their specialists in a single visit. The medical staff works as a team to provide expert evaluation and the most advanced care possible.

Care for children with cancer

Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC) is a more than 60-year-old partnership between Children's Hospital Boston and Dana–Farber Cancer Institute that delivers comprehensive care to children with and survivors of all types of childhood cancers. DF/CHCC specialists are actively involved in pediatric cancer research and use the latest clinical techniques to improve outcomes and quality of life. This includes 13 specialty areas.

They also work with several other local New England organizations that share a similar vision, such as Take a Swing at Cancer,[5] Angel's Hope, Childhood Cancer Lifeline of New Hampshire and Andrew's Helpful Hands.


External links

  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Charles A. Dana Foundation
  • Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

Coordinates: 42°20′16.77″N 71°06′25.79″W / 42.3379917°N 71.1071639°W / 42.3379917; -71.1071639

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