Dana Farber Cancer Institute History

The Children's Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1947 by Dr. Sidney Farber. It was dedicated to giving cutting-edge, compassionate treatment to children suffering from cancer while developing treatments, preventions and cures. In 1969, the foundation officially increased its programs to cover patients of any age.

In 1974, the foundation was given the name Sidney Farber Cancer Center, honoring its founder Dr. Farber. Nine years later in 1983, the long support of Charles A. Dana Foundation was recognized by the Cancer Center when it incorporated the Institute its current name.

The Institute today has 4,000 employees and over 300,000 patient appointments each year. It is internationally acclaimed for the blending its clinical and research excellence for finding groundbreaking cancer treatments. The expertise of the Institute in the two aspects of fighting against cancer puts the Institute in the position of leading the new generation of researchers and scientists to finding new therapies in both the clinic and laboratory.

In 1948, the Research Foundation had its defining moment when the TV show Truth or Consequences introduced the country to a youngster who was being treated at the foundation for cancer. Farber did not allow the youngster's name to be released so he was referred to only as Jimmy. Through the show over $250,000 was raised and the Variety Club of New England was renamed the Jimmy Fund. Using these donations and a few others, the Foundation built the first building that housed the foundation headquarters, that would later become the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute.

Farber was able to get government funds to help with research and in the ten years between 1957 and 1967, the funding from the government jumped from $48 million to over $175 million. From that point forward the Institute became one of the country's leaders in cancer research, treatment and care. Today the Institute has set an example that is followed by others around the world.


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