Latest News

Latest News

Our latest efforts to Defy Cancer.

Visit this page often to hear how our community of donors, clinicians, researchers, and patients are helping Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund Defy Cancer.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Establishes the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Establishes the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announced that The Rossy Foundation has committed $10 million to establish the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative. The five-year initiative will spearhead groundbreaking research into liposarcoma at Dana-Farber and external collaborating partner institutions, with the aim of transforming the treatment of this rare, underfunded, and understudied disease in order to improve care of patients through research. This commitment from The Rossy Foundation will focus on collaborative research among various departments at Dana-Farber—including liposarcoma biology, biochemistry, immunology, metabolism, genomics, and epigenetics. By conducting research to improve fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this disease, the initiative may lead to...

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announced that The Rossy Foundation has committed $10 million to establish the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative. The five-year initiative will spearhead groundbreaking research into liposarcoma at Dana-Farber and external collaborating partner institutions, with the aim of transforming the treatment of this rare, underfunded, and understudied disease in order to improve care of patients through research.

This commitment from The Rossy Foundation will focus on collaborative research among various departments at Dana-Farber—including liposarcoma biology, biochemistry, immunology, metabolism, genomics, and epigenetics. By conducting research to improve fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this disease, the initiative may lead to new approaches to overcome treatment resistance, as well as new strategies for clinical research to improve the outcomes of liposarcoma patients worldwide. The overall research initiative will be led by George Demetri, MD, director of the Sarcoma Center, senior vice president for Experimental Therapeutics, and Quick Family Chair in Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber.

“We appreciate The Rossy Foundation’s very generous commitment, as well as their recognition of the strength of Dana-Farber’s exceptional portfolio of basic science and clinical research programs to mobilize our world-class Sarcoma Center. This support will fund robust and much needed research against this rare disease,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO, Dana-Farber.

“The Rossy Foundation is proud to make this meaningful contribution toward better treatments for liposarcoma, which affects more than 4,000 patients in the United States and Canada every year. Our hope is that this initiative, under the direction of Dr. George Demetri, will drive breakthroughs that not only transform the landscape of liposarcoma research, but most importantly help extend and enhance the lives of patients across the globe,” said Gregory J. David, Vice-Chair of The Rossy Foundation.

 The David Liposarcoma Research Initiative collaboration will start by bringing together the teams of 11 principal investigators from four institutions—Dana-Farber, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. These investigators will work together on an interconnected portfolio of projects that builds upon the virtuous cycle of discovery, validation, and clinical testing with correlative science to stimulate continuous discovery: from bench to patient and back to the lab bench. Dana-Farber will be the lead and coordinating institution for this new initiative.  

The initiative will also include engagement of a renowned panel comprising the international Scientific Advisory Board. The commitment also establishes the David Liposarcoma Research Initiative International Scientific Symposium in basic, translational, and clinical liposarcoma research. This symposium will enable the team to share results, guide the development of clinical trials in years three through five, and have a global influence to stimulate new collaborations in this field.

“The visionary and forward-looking support from The Rossy Foundation will greatly enhance our understanding of the underlying biology, genomics, epigenetics, immunologic, and other mechanistic characteristics of liposarcomas,” said Demetri. “It is our hope that the new research collaborations made possible by this commitment will ultimately lead to better therapeutic options for patients diagnosed with this rare disease.”

Cancers known as sarcomas develop from stem cells and connective tissues, such as muscle, fat, and bone, that hold the body together. Liposarcomas can appear anywhere on the body; they originate from precursors of fat cells that develop abnormally into cancerous growths as a result of genetic mutations in the sarcoma cells but not the rest of the person’s body. Sarcomas are rare, accounting for about 1% of cancers in adults. There are more than 250 subtypes of sarcomas: the sarcoma known as GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor) is the most common, but liposarcoma is the next most common. Although work from Dr. Demetri and colleagues in Dana-Farber’s Sarcoma Center have led to revolutionary therapies for GIST and some moderately effective FDA approved therapies for liposarcomas, such as trabectedin and eribulin, new therapies are needed to improve patient outcomes in liposarcomas and other types of sarcomas.

The Sarcoma Center at Dana-Farber sees more than 1,000 newly referred patients each year, including hundreds of patients with liposarcoma. Many patients partner with the Sarcoma Center to advance research by providing clinical data, banking tumor samples, and participating in clinical studies. The center’s tumor bank includes thousands of samples, which are shared for analysis across institutions. Additionally, the Sarcoma Center has an extensive regulatory-compliant infrastructure and experience working with the FDA to design academic clinical trials under its own authority and in collaboration with biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry colleagues on an international scale. Over the past two decades, the Sarcoma Center’s work has been instrumental to changing the landscape of treatment for sarcomas, such as gastrointestinal stromal tumors and leiomyosarcoma—including FDA approval of 10 new sarcoma indications for novel drugs.

This commitment supports The Dana-Farber Campaign, an ambitious $2 billion multi-year fundraising effort that will accelerate success and help Dana-Farber defy cancer through investments in revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities.

About the Rossy Foundation

The Rossy Foundation is a Montreal-based philanthropic foundation that contributes to civil society by funding initiatives in health care, mental health, civic engagement, education, the arts. The Foundation has made major donations to a variety of health care and cultural institutions in Quebec and across Canada. Notably, the Foundation established The Rossy Cancer Network in Montreal in 2012.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber is a federally designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

We provide the latest treatments in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the only hospital nationwide with a top 5 U.S. News & World Report Best Cancer Hospital ranking in both adult and pediatric care.

As a global leader in oncology, Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world, offering more than 1,100 clinical trials. 

Hale Family to Accelerate Pancreatic Cancer Research and Care with One of the Largest Single Gifts Ever to Dana-Farber

Hale Family to Accelerate Pancreatic Cancer Research and Care with One of the Largest Single Gifts Ever to Dana-Farber

Continuing their family’s deep commitment to conquering pancreatic cancer, Judith B. Hale, her son, Robert T. Hale, Jr., and his wife, Karen Hale, have pledged an additional $50 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This gift, one of the largest single gifts in the Institute’s history, will support the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, founded in 2016 with $15 million from Judith, Robert, and Karen, and bring the Hale Family’s cumulative support to Dana-Farber to over $80 million. This new gift will enable a wide range of ambitious work in two main areas of pancreatic cancer research: early detection...

Continuing their family’s deep commitment to conquering pancreatic cancer, Judith B. Hale, her son, Robert T. Hale, Jr., and his wife, Karen Hale, have pledged an additional $50 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This gift, one of the largest single gifts in the Institute’s history, will support the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, founded in 2016 with $15 million from Judith, Robert, and Karen, and bring the Hale Family’s cumulative support to Dana-Farber to over $80 million.

This new gift will enable a wide range of ambitious work in two main areas of pancreatic cancer research: early detection and prevention, and precision medicine and biology. Currently a national leader in the field, the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research will launch teams of scientists to leverage health system data to identify those at highest risk for pancreatic cancer, detect it earlier through new imaging approaches and blood tests, and develop new treatments for pre-invasive and early invasive pancreatic cancers.

The center will also investigate the biology and interplay of pancreatic cancer cells, the immune system, and stromal cells, and develop a series of clinical trials to test new therapies based upon discoveries from these initiatives. 

“Our intention is to substantially speed the pace of research and new treatments for this terrible disease,” said Judith Hale, a member of the Dana-Farber Board of Trustees. “We are investing in the exceptional talent at Dana-Farber because we are committed to finding a cure. That would be a wonderful honor for my husband and legacy for our family.”

“Working in partnership with the Hale Family, we have already made significant progress against pancreatic cancer,” said Dana-Farber President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD. “Yet far too many families are still devastated by this disease. We share the Hale Family’s bold vision to eradicate pancreatic cancer and save lives, here and around the world. With this incredibly generous, transformational gift, the Hale Family is providing us with an unprecedented opportunity, and responsibility, to do just that.”

“More than 60,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, far too often at a late stage,” said Karen Hale. “It is critical to detect it early when it is most vulnerable, and to have newer, more advanced treatments available when we do. Dana-Farber has the best team of scientists and clinicians to do this urgent work.”

 A Generational Legacy

This gift is in honor of Judith Hale’s late husband, and Robert Hale, Jr.’s father, Robert T. “Bob” Hale, Sr., a patient of the Institute, who died in 2008. Longtime supporters of the Institute, Robert Sr. and Judith Hale established the Robert T. Hale Sr. and Judith B. Hale Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber in 2007.

The Hale Family’s commitment to research and care has continued across the generations. Judith Hale created the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer in 2012, and with Robert Jr. and Karen, established the current Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research in 2016.

In addition, the Hales’ company, Granite Telecommunications, and its employees have supported research at Dana-Farber and other institutions by providing millions of dollars through corporate philanthropy and popular annual events.

“I am inspired by the Hales’ determination and commitment to the mission we all share,” said Josh Bekenstein, Chairman of the Board of Dana-Farber. “They are a model for others of the bold, forward-thinking philanthropy that has meant so much progress for patients throughout Dana-Farber’s history.”

The Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research

“With this extremely generous gift from the Hale Family, we have an incredible opportunity to transform how pancreatic cancer is diagnosed and treated,” said Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, director of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber. “We share their deep commitment to ending pancreatic cancer, and the entire Hale Center team is exceptionally grateful for--and energized by--their trust and long-time financial support.”  

The Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer and Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research includes scientists exploring germline genetics, functional genomics, chemical biology, computational biology, cancer metabolism, immunotherapy, and laboratory model system development, as well as clinicians specializing in medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, pathology, gastroenterology, and leadership of clinical trials. This highly collaborative research environment has already had numerous successes, including:

  • Contributions to the first approval of a targeted drug for patients with pancreatic cancer.
  • Creation of a comprehensive early detection program for patients with inherited risk of pancreatic cancer that is a national model.
  • Discovery of a new gene for inherited pancreatic cancer by studying pancreatic cancer-prone families.
  • Detailed genetic studies that contributed to national guidelines that now recommend inherited genetic testing and tumor DNA sequencing for all patients with a new diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
  • Completion of the most comprehensive map of the pancreatic cancer immune microenvironment documented to date.
  • Establishment of one of the world’s most advanced clinical trials programs for pancreatic cancer.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Announces $2 Billion Fundraising Campaign to Defy Cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Announces $2 Billion Fundraising Campaign to Defy Cancer

Virtual Event Launches Public Phase of Campaign BOSTON – May 17, 2021 – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today announced the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, and the largest campaign ever in New England focused entirely on cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign is a multi-year fundraising effort to raise $2 billion to accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. More than 1,000 people joined Dana-Farber for a special one-hour virtual event on Monday night to kick off the campaign and embraced the Institute’s vision to prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer. The event featured Journalist...

Virtual Event Launches Public Phase of Campaign

BOSTON – May 17, 2021 – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today announced the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, and the largest campaign ever in New England focused entirely on cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign is a multi-year fundraising effort to raise $2 billion to accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise.

More than 1,000 people joined Dana-Farber for a special one-hour virtual event on Monday night to kick off the campaign and embraced the Institute’s vision to prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer. The event featured Journalist and Author Tom Brokaw; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD; Chairman of the Dana-Farber Board of Trustees and Co-chairman and Managing Director of Bain Capital Josh Bekenstein; and Chair of The Dana-Farber Campaign, Institute Trustee, and Founding Partner and Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners Michael Eisenson; along with inspiring patient stories, and special guests including, musician Andy Grammer, actress Amy Poehler, actor Pierce Brosnan, and more.

This campaign comes at a crucial time, when scientific progress in oncology is advancing dramatically, yet the need for innovations in research and care to help more cancer patients is still great, according to Glimcher.

“We have made groundbreaking discoveries in cancer, and today, thanks to the support from a generous community of donors, we know more about this terrible disease than ever before,” said Glimcher. “While discoveries and new therapies are increasing at a rapid pace, many cancers remain difficult to diagnose early and hard to treat. Cancers are striking younger people more frequently, and many barriers to equitable care still exist. The Dana-Farber Campaign will marshal the resources necessary to support our strategic initiatives and to Defy Cancer.”

From chemotherapy discovered by Sidney Farber, MD, to targeted drugs for immunotherapies, to the 2019 Nobel Prize winning research of William Kaelin, MD, and throughout its seven-decade history, Dana-Farber discoveries have changed the lives of patients everywhere. Starting with scientific breakthroughs against childhood leukemia at the Institute’s founding in 1947, and many times since, Dana-Farber has advanced the standard of cancer care.

 “Cancer isn’t one disease. It is many different diseases and different for each patient. But just as cancer continues to change, Dana-Farber needs resources to continue to evolve, advance, adapt, and accelerate our efforts if we are to ultimately defeat cancer for everyone – forever,” said Bekenstein.  

The Dana-Farber Campaign is a multi-year fundraising effort toincrease philanthropic support to accelerate success against cancer focusing on three pillars: revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise:

  • Revolutionary Science: Science at Dana-Farber is rapidly transforming what is known about how cancer develops and how to treat it. While Institute findings have led to new therapies and helped many people, some cancers still elude early detection and treatment. Gifts to The Dana-Farber Campaign will support crucial research areas including cancer prevention and early
  • Extraordinary Care: Dana-Farber’s integrated approach to care is a unique model, and its standards and protocols have been adopted around the world. Most Dana-Farber clinicians also conduct research, providing patients with ready access to more than 1,000 therapeutic and non-therapeutic trials and speeding the pathway “from bench to bedside” and back again. Campaign funds will spark innovations in research-based care, expand access to the high-quality care Dana-Farber is known for by reaching more patients and families in underserved populations, help address cancer disparities, and more.
  • Exceptional Expertise: Dana-Farber is committed to providing its expert scientists and clinicians with the resources they need to provide world-class care and pursue innovative research. Gifts to the Campaign will enable Dana-Farber to continue attracting and retaining the best talent, allow scientists to explore new ideas that could lead to the next cure, and provide clinicians more time with their patients.

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have always relied on generous donors and grassroots fundraisers to make huge strides against cancer, giving more “Jimmys” a hopeful future. Every step walked or race run; each mile on a bike or swing of the club; every donation to honor a loved one; every dollar makes a powerful difference because it is not a single act—it is part of a movement and an entire community coming together to fund cancer research and care at Dana-Farber. 

The Dana-Farber Campaign is ambitious and important. Each gift will make a difference in the lives of pediatric and adult patients around the world,” said Michael Eisenson. “Together, we can make monumental strides to Defy Cancer.”

Working closely with Eisenson is Vice Chair of The Dana-Farber Campaign, Monica Chandra, an Institute Trustee and Managing Partner of 3EDGE Asset Management.

The Dana-Farber Campaign began its quiet phase in October 2017 and the Institute has received commitments for approximately 60 percent of the goal to date.

Last week, Judith B. Hale, her son, Robert T. Hale, Jr., and his wife, Karen Hale, pledged a $50 million gift to support The Dana-Farber Campaign by enabling a wide range of ambitious work in two main areas of pancreatic cancer research: early detection and prevention, and precision medicine and biology. The gift will launch teams of scientists to leverage health system data to identify those at highest risk for pancreatic cancer, detect it earlier through new imaging approaches and blood tests, and develop new treatments for pre-invasive and early invasive pancreatic cancers.

The campaign is anticipated to close in September 2024.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment, and with its partners is ranked in the top 6 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement and equity, and advocacy. We provide the latest in cancer care for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.

Additional News

Thank you for your interest in learning more about The Dana-Farber Campaign. You have been added to our email list and will receive updates on ways to join us in defying cancer. You can unsubscribe at any time.
There has been an issue submitting your request. Please try again.

Sign up to receive emails from Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.

   Please leave this field empty