Dana-Farber Cancer Institute establishes breast cancer program

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute establishes breast cancer program

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has announced a $5 million gift from the Benderson family to accelerate research in triple-negative breast cancer and strengthen the cancer research institute’s capabilities to treat the disease.

The gift, the largest ever received by Dana-Farber for TNBC research, will establish the Benderson Family Program for Triple Negative Breast Cancer, establish a new endowed fund — the Benderson Family Endowment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer — and provide resources for the expansion of a novel comprehensive TNBC research registry. The resulting TNBC cohort is expected to provide the data and samples necessary to conduct critical laboratory experiments, identify potential drug targets, and design clinical trials for more effective treatment of TNBC patients. Made as part of the institute's comprehensive fundraising campaign, the gift also will support capital projects and strategic initiatives under the leadership of Dana-Farber president and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher.

According to the institute, TNBC, which accounts for approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of all breast cancers, is one of the most challenging forms of the disease to treat. Despite recent advances forged by physician-scientists at Dana-Farber and elsewhere, new and novel treatment approaches for TNBC patients are needed. While chemotherapy remains the primary treatment for the disease, new therapies, including immunotherapies, antibody drug conjugates, and PARP inhibitors, are being investigated for their efficacy in treating this type of cancer.

"Many women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer today will do very well with existing treatments," said Eric P. Winer, chief of the division of breast oncology in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. "But there are still far too many women with TNBC who urgently require new and better therapies. The incredibly generous support from the Benderson Family allows our researchers to build on recent advancements in TNBC, with the goal of delivering novel and promising treatment strategies to more patients."