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Dana Farber Boston Childrens Cancer and Blood Disorders Center Research | Overview


Bench-to-bedside research in hematology and oncology

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.

Our researchers also take full advantage of fruitful collaborations with those at neighboring institutions in the Boston area and beyond, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Broad Institute, the Whitehead Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All of our faculty hold academic appointments at Harvard Medical School or Harvard University.

Basic, translational and clinical research on cancers and blood diseases

Basic research is the backbone of advancements in clinical care, illuminating the biological mechanisms that form the basis of health and disease. Translational research bridges the laboratory and the clinic, providing the groundwork for clinical studies—the key stepping stone to offering new treatment options to children with hard-to-treat or relapsed conditions. We leverage our strengths in research to develop unique and innovative clinical trials—testing new approaches to the devastating illnesses affecting children.

The translational and clinical studies we conduct span prevention, treatment and late effects of pediatric cancer and blood diseases. Our researchers are also conducting pioneering research into gene therapy, stem cell research and treatments for non-malignant blood diseases and immunodeficiencies. Many of our studies, including our protocol for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), have built the foundation for new and improved cancer therapies.

We are a founding member of the Transatlantic Gene Therapy Consortium, an international consortium of pediatric research hospitals using gene therapy to treat childhood illnesses. These clinical trials are unique in the world. We are also the regional Phase I center for the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators' Consortium (POETIC), which means that we offer unique clinical studies unavailable at other hospitals in New England. At any time an average of 60 separate clinical trials are accepting new patients at DF/CHCC.