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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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.

The origins of Dana-Farber date back to 1947 when Sidney Farber, MD, founded Children's Cancer Research Foundation. In 1974, it became known as the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute in honor of its founder. The support of the Charles A. Dana Foundation was acknowledged by incorporating Dana's name in 1983.

Dana-Farber employs about 3,150 people. There are more than 185,000 adult and pediatric patient visits a year, and it is involved in some 200 clinical trials. It is internationally known for its research and clinical excellence.[citation needed] 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)[1], 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, 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.

Additional recommended knowledge


History of advances in cancer care and research at Dana-Farber

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.
  • 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 - 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

The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center 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.

Together with Massachusetts General Hospital, the adult oncology care at these three institutions comprise Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care, which offers access to the comprehensive services of two of the nation's finest general hospitals,[citation needed] and to an exceptionally large number of new treatments through clinical trials.

The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center cares for adult patients in 12 specialized 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 Care (DF/CHCC) is a 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.

Awards and Recognition

As of 2007, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was ranked as the fifth best cancer hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[2]


  1. ^ DANA-FARBER / HARVARD CANCER CENTER. Retrieved on 2007-10-15.
  2. ^ "Best Hospitals 2007 Specialty Search: Cancer", U.S News & World Report. Retrieved on 2007-10-15. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dana-Farber_Cancer_Institute". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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