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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

(866) 408-3324

Doctors Affiliated with this Treatment Facility

Learn More about this Cancer Center

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the top-rated cancer treatment centers in the United States. As a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, the center conducts community-based programs focused on cancer prevention, detection and control throughout New England. Dana-Farber is also a federally designated Center for AIDS Research, and is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a comprehensive cancer center.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute supports approximately 300,000 patient visits each year and is involved in some 700 clinical trials. The institute takes part in a number of joint programs with other highly regarded Boston institutions, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital.


The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s history dates back to just after World War II, when a doctor named Sidney Farber founded the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation in Boston. From its founding in 1947, the foundation’s mission was to provide state-of-the-art treatment to young people suffering from cancer while also pioneering new preventatives, treatments and cures for the disease. Its researchers took on grand projects right from the start: The first year of the foundation’s operations, Farber led a team of researchers who were the first in the world to attain remission in a common type of childhood leukemia. Seven years later, Farber and his colleagues achieved remission in another type of childhood cancer – Wilms’ tumor of the kidney – boosting cure rates from 40 to 85 percent.

In 1969, the foundation began treating patients of all ages, and in 1974 it was renamed the Sidney Farber Cancer Center. In 1976, researchers at the newly named center developed a new leukemia treatment that produced remissions in up to half of all patients. The center’s name was changed to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1983, acknowledging the long-term support of the Charles A. Dana Foundation. The following year, the institute established the Molecular Biology Core Facilities, a program that continues to supply molecular biology tools to the foundation’s research teams.

In the past two decades, Dana-Farber researchers have made significant contributions in the diagnosis, treatment and curing of colon cancer, leukemia and lung cancer, among other diseases. The institute is also active in the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS; in fact, a 1996 discovery by Dana-Farber researchers about how the HIV virus replicates and infects healthy cells was heralded by Science magazine as the “Breakthrough of the Year.”

Mesothelioma Treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology treats various types of cancer that afflict the lungs and chest, including lung cancer, mediastinal cancer, tracheal cancer and pleural mesothelioma. Doctors at the Lowe Center employ a “team approach” to treating cancer, coordinating among a patient’s many specialists – from thoracic surgeons to radiation oncologists to medical oncologists – to offer an individualized approach to best treat each person.

Patients remain in the care of their team of specialists throughout the course of their treatment. In the meantime, patients may also take advantage of a range of support services offered by Dana-Farber’s staff, in areas such as nutrition, mental health, pain management, and integrative therapies like acupuncture and Reiki.

Behind the scenes, and informing the work they do with patients, Dana-Farber is deeply embedded in the world of clinical research. The Lowe Center has been a leader in lung cancer research for more than ten years, and has worked to identify new treatments that tackle cancer with fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy. Studying the genetics of cancer tissue also helps Lowe Center doctors understand the way tumors grow and react to medications.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Mesothelioma Treatment

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Thoracic Cancer Treatment Center

Wikipedia – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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