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Joanne  Wolfe, MD, MPH

Joanne Wolfe
Research Center:
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Medicine Research
Hematology/Oncology Research
Hospital Title:
Director, Pediatric Palliative Care; Division Chief, Pediatric Palliative Care Service, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Palliative care
Contact Via Email
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Research Overview

Joanne Wolfe's research focuses on palliative care. Through clinical trials, she is evaluating approaches to care that preserve hope and optimize quality of life and comfort. Her projects include:

A prospective longitudinal study observing a cohort of children with advanced cancer and their families. It is designed to delineate the quality of key elements of care by studying parent and physician perceptions about prognosis and treatment goals, symptoms, and quality of life in children.

An intervention that provides feedback on symptom and quality-of-life scores as a component of the routine care of children with advanced cancer. This feedback is provided by a computerized data collection system called Pediatric Quality of Life Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST). The system generates electronic mail notifications alerting providers to repeated high levels of symptom distress. This, in turn, may lead to better control of symptoms and result in less distress. Greater attention to quality of life also may stimulate parent and physician communication about prognosis and treatment goals and lead to earlier decision-making about palliative care outcomes.

About Joanne Wolfe

Dr. Wolfe received her MD from Harvard Medical School and her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed an internship, residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and a fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She directs the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), a palliative care service at both BCH and the DFCI. PACT was a finalist for The Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award in 2010.

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Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the top research centers in the world for pediatric cancers and blood diseases. It brings together laboratory scientists and clinical researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital in a single program. We investigate pediatric cancers and non-malignant blood disorders from every angle—from examining cells under the microscope to tracking the effectiveness of current drug regimens using the most advanced molecular methods—so that we can create better treatments for children seen here and around the world.

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