Research and Innovation

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Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is a partnership between two organizations with a rich and storied history of innovation. Some innovations have come from clinical trials that have led to more effective drugs and therapies. Others from moments spent at the bedside, when doctors and nurses see opportunities to improve current treatment methods. Some of our discoveries and achievements:

  • Discovering a drug that may enhance the recovery of a child’s blood and immune system, an important advance in stem cell transplantation

  • Improving leukemia cure rates and reducing chemotherapy-related side effects

  • Identifying and applying antiangiogenic treatments (drugs that prevent the formation of new blood vessels, which feed tumors) for pediatric brain tumors

  • The first use of adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells) and limb-salvage surgery for patients with osteosarcoma

  • Identifying two white blood cell disorders – Shwachman-Diamond syndrome and Diamond-Blackfan syndrome

  • Discovering a gene for a rare inherited iron deficiency

Together, we carry on this tradition of innovation today through an active clinical trial program and ongoing Care Quality and Patient Safety initiatives.

Clinical Trials

With over 100 active clinical trials, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s is one of the leading research centers of its kind in the world. For many decades, our clinical research has led to pioneering discoveries in childhood cancer, including remission of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and breakthroughs in the field of angiogenesis, in which blood vessel formation plays a critical role in the growth of tumors.

Our researchers take advantage of collaborative ventures with other Boston hospitals and research organizations. We are the Phase I regional center for the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators Consortium (POETIC), through which we offer unique clinical studies that are not available elsewhere. We are also a founding member of the Transatlantic Gene Therapy Consortium.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO