Clinical research is central to the department and the disease centers. Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center currently has more than 400 open clinical trials and accrues more than 2,500 patients to therapeutic trials each year in addition to several thousand patients to nontherapeutic clinical protocols. Disease center members play a major role in Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center programs and in national cooperative group trials, such as the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB).
Through the efforts of Lee Nadler, MD, Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center has opened an eight-bed outpatient research chemotherapy unit, in which the most sophisticated clinical trials can be conducted, with an emphasis on "first-into-human" studies that have the potential to move the boundaries of oncology care. Similarly, efforts are under way to expand the infrastructure of clinical research, provide a mechanism to train the next generation of clinical investigators, and support clinical trials with dedicated laboratory space for determining trial endpoints and measuring novel biomarkers.
The department has 40 independent research laboratories, primarily focused on disease- and patient-oriented cancer research. Recent recruits include Anthony Letai, MD, PhD, Matthew Freedman, MD, Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, Holly Prigerson, PhD, Andrea Gurmankin Levy, PhD, Vish Viswanath, PhD, Christopher Lathan, MD, Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, Levi Garraway, MD, (recruited for 2006) and others. The department has added a number of other laboratory and clinical investigators to the junior faculty through promotions.
Most disease centers have succeeded in obtaining National Cancer Institute Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) awards, NIH Program Project grants, or Center of Excellence awards to support basic and clinical research in their areas of interest. In 2005, Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center investigators participated in seven different NCI SPORE awards.
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