Newswise — Founded in 1997, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) is a cancer research consortium that integrates and builds on the collective talent and resources of seven Harvard-affiliated institutions. It is the successor to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was first designated as an NCI cancer center in 1973.

The seven institutional members that comprise the DF/HCC consortium are: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital. The member institutions combine their scientific strengths to accelerate research findings from the laboratory, clinical research trials, and studies of populations, enhancing patient care and the understanding of underlying causes of cancer.

DF/HCC brings together more than 1,000 faculty members from the participating institutions through multidisciplinary, inter-institutional programs that stimulate collaboration and discovery. The Center supports 18 established clinical-and discipline-based research programs. Nineteen shared resources provide specialized services that enable investigators to conduct innovative cancer research. Those include the Pathology Specimen Locator Core which houses a groundbreaking, web-based network of searchable databases containing de-identified, coded, pathologic information on post-diagnostic, human tissue samples that researchers may use in their studies.

The Center’s large clinical research program takes a unified approach to approving, activating, monitoring, and supporting the cancer-related clinical trials conducted at member institutions. DF/HCC has a unified Institutional Review Board (IRB), protocol review and monitoring system, data and safety monitoring process, contracting and budgeting, education and training, and informatics structure.

Through its extensive research activities, DF/HCC is committed to maximizing the impact of its research on all cancer patients through improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, with a particular emphasis on eliminating disparities in minority and medically underserved populations.

A cornerstone of the work to accomplish this mission is the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (IECD). This strategic project addresses inequalities in cancer across population groups and focuses on five areas: increasing research on cancer disparities, engaging diverse communities in improving cancer prevention and treatment, increasing the number of minorities in the biomedical workforce through training outreach programs, enhancing faculty diversity, and fostering culturally sensitive care.

-----------------------------------------------The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. These centers are characterized by scientific excellence and the capability to integrate a diversity of research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer. They play a vital role in advancing towards NCI's goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer.This piece does not represent the views of the National Institutes of Health.