Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Each year, thousands of patients from around the world come to Dana-Farber for their cancer care. Dana Farber is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Dana Farber culture of care and research benefits patients

Ever since Sidney Farber, MD, pioneered chemical therapies to treat children with leukemia in 1947, Dana-Farber has forged a groundbreaking path: 70+ years of research discovery and innovation have revolutionized cancer diagnosis and treatment, for the benefit of all our patients, adult and pediatric. Our equal emphasis on patient care and research means that our leading-edge research is informed by patient care – and our patient care relies on leading-edge research.

Dana Farber focus exclusively on cancer and related diseases.

All our clinicians – radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and nursing staff – have deep experience treating your particular type of cancer. Our multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care ensures that you will receive the combination of treatments that is best for you. We partner with two of the world’s highest-ranked hospitals – Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital – to provide complete and integrated care for our adult patients and pediatric patients.

Dana Farber patients and families come first

Dana-Farber founder Sidney Farber, MD, pioneered the concept of patient-centered care, in which patients are seen not only by physicians and nurses, but also by specialists in other areas of cancer care, such as social work, nutrition, integrative therapies, and many others. Today, Dana-Farber’s wide range of patient and family support services help our patients to move through their cancer experiences. And involving patients and their families in care decisions is standard practice across our Institute.

Since 1947, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been providing expert cancer care and groundbreaking treatments for adult and pediatric patients. U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Dana-Farber as the #1 cancer hospital in New England, and among the best in the nation. As a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, we recruit some of the world’s best and brightest physicians and researchers. And we partner with two of the world’s highest ranked hospitals – Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital – to provide complete and integrated care for our adult patients and pediatric patients

Dana-Farber's commitment to fight cancer with equal parts research and patient care is supported by a broad and deep array of resources. These resources are organized into a number of specialized departments, centers, and programs that have evolved over time in response to changes in perceived needs and the availability of new technologies.
The following list explains their functions and roles:


Department of Cancer Biology

The Department of Cancer Biology performs lab-based research investigating the molecular pathways driving cancer. The department uses discoveries about the basic functioning of these pathways to develop novel cancer diagnostics and precision treatments.

Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology

The Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology investigates fundamental questions in the immune response to cancers, develops novel approaches for cancer immunotherapy, and develops novel approaches for immunotherapy of viral infections, including those that predispose to cancer.

Department of Cellular Therapies Quality Assurance (CTQA)

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has a longstanding commitment to quality. As part of this commitment, we have a dedicated department to ensure the quality of stem cells and other cellular products used for patients.

Department of Data Sciences

The Department of Data Sciences is the home of researchers trained in quantitative sciences. Their mission is to advance cancer research and cancer treatment, both directly and by providing their expertise through collaboration.

Department of Imaging

The Department of Imaging provides state-of-the-art technologies for imaging-based research, diagnostics, and drug development.

Department of Medical Oncology

The Department of Medical Oncology seeks to gain insights that lead to the prevention of cancer and to improve diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with cancer. The Department engages in a broad range of basic and clinical research, patient care, and teaching.

Department of Oncologic Pathology

The Department of Oncologic Pathology focuses on innovative discoveries and advances in research and clinical trials in cancer pathology that lead to the development of new care strategies and improved outcomes for patients

Department of Pediatric Oncology

The Department of Pediatric Oncology is committed to promoting laboratory research, translational investigation, and clinical studies to better understand and treat childhood cancers.

Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care

The Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC) is composed of five divisions that offer unique services and conduct research with one important goal: To help patients and their families maintain the best quality of life during and after treatment.

Department of Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology is committed to combining advances in clinical and laboratory research with developments in radiation physics. The goal is to promote a better understanding of the biology of cancer and normal tissues and to improve the treatment of cancer.

Centers and Programs

Arthur and Linda Gelb Center for Translational Research

The Arthur and Linda Gelb Center for Translational Research provides a platform and support for investigators at Dana-Farber, collaborating institutions, and industry — to promote discoveries in the biology of genitourinary (GU) cancers, and to translate these findings into clinical benefit.

Blood Cancer Research Partnership

Blood Cancer Research Partnership (BCRP) provides innovative clinical trials to patients closer to their home. BCRP’s main objective is to bring the novel trials to the patients across the country.

Cancer Care Equity Program (CCEP)

The CCEP was established to serve as a bridge between research and outreach efforts to address cancer disparities at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Center for AIDS Research

The Center for AIDS Research is a program shared with Harvard University. Its mission is to expand, promote, and facilitate collaborative, multidisciplinary activities in HIV/AIDS research, education, and training among CFAR members and associate members throughout Harvard University, in order to help end the AIDS pandemic.

Center for Community-Based Research

The Center for Community-Based Research (CCBR) develops innovative ways to lower cancer risk by working with community groups and organizations. CCBR uses the power of the community to study the factors that play a role in improving the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.

Center for Prevention of Progression of Blood Cancers (CPOP)

The Center for Prevention of Progression of Blood Cancers (CPOP) is a research program focused on understanding the progression and clonal evolution of blood cancers – with an ultimate aim to develop targeted therapeutic agents that can eliminate the early clones of disease.

Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services The mission of the Cantor Center is to reduce the burden of cancer through scholarly inquiry and rigorous research. The focus of the Center's research is the patient/family experience of living with a predisposition to or diagnosis of cancer, as well as survivorship issues post-treatment.

Program in Regulatory Science

The mission of the Program in Regulatory Science (PRS) is to generate novel approaches for the development of therapeutics and biomarkers through preclinical and clinical trial designs, pipeline modeling, and scientific contributions in regulatory science.

In 2003, Dana-Farber mapped out a research strategic plan to promote the clinical application of our understanding about the molecular characteristics of cancer while furthering work that generates that fundamental knowledge.
The creation of cross-cutting integrative research centers addresses the steps from basic discovery to clinical application, complementing the scientific work accomplished through academic departments.
The integrative research centers participate in a rigorous process of goal setting, progress monitoring, and performance metrics. They are an Institute-wide experiment to see if this kind of results-driven strategy can be successful alongside traditional, open-ended, investigator-driven research.
  • Blais Proteomics Center
  • Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology
  • Center for Cancer Genome Discovery
  • Center for Cancer Precision Medicine
  • Center for Cancer Systems Biology
  • Center for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Center for DNA Damage and Repair
  • Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics
  • Center for Patient Derived Models (CPDM)
  • Chemical Biology Program
  • Hale Family Research Center for Pancreatic Cancer
  • McGraw/Patterson Center for Population Sciences
  • Perini Family Survivors Center
  • Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science

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