The mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is to provide expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer and related diseases. As an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute, the Institute also provides training for new generations of physicians and scientists, designs programs that promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations, and disseminates innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries to our target community across the United States and throughout the world.
In 1947, the late Sidney Farber, MD, founded a Children’s Cancer Research Foundation dedicated to providing children with cancer with compassionate, state-of-the-art treatment and simultaneously developing the cancer preventatives, treatments, and cures of the future. The Institute officially expanded its programs to include patients of all ages in 1969, and in 1974 became known as the Sidney Farber Cancer Center in honor of its founder. The long-term support of the Charles A. Dana Foundation was acknowledged by incorporating the Institute under its present name in 1983.
Today, the Institute employs about 4,000 people supporting more than 200,000 patient visits a year, is involved in some 600 clinical trials, and is internationally renowned for its blending of research and clinical excellence. The Institute’s expertise in these two arms of the fight to eradicate cancer uniquely positions it to bring novel therapies that prove beneficial and safe in the laboratory setting into clinical use.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, a federally designated Center for AIDS Research, and a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), a federally designated comprehensive cancer center. Providing advanced training in cancer treatment and research for an international faculty, the Institute 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 Health Care System, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is supported by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the generous support of numerous foundations and individuals, who contribute to the Institute’s individual research and clinic programs or to the Jimmy Fund, the principal charity of the Institute named for one of its child patients.