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Dana-Farber launches Center for Applied Cancer Science

est new cancer drugs or antibodies before going into human trials. The center also will focus on expanding on Dana-Farber's longstanding success in developing therapeutic antibodies. The center will coordinate the activities of these teams, maximize their internal and external interactions, and supply a shared infrastructure of high-throughput technologies.

"The challenges of cancer are formidable," says DePinho. "But we believe that we have finally reached a critical threshold of knowledge and technologies that will enable us to identify the genetic Achilles' heel of cancer and convert these molecular discoveries into novel effective cancer medicines in a more directed and efficient manner," explains DePinho.

Historically, academic-based cancer centers and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have maintained distinct goals, activities, and capabilities. While academic cancer centers excel at basic research and clinical trials, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies possess enormous capability to identify and synthesize drugs.

The new Dana-Farber center will provide an important first step toward integrating and building on these strengths by taking full advantage of the enormous biological and discovery talents of academia, exploiting the predictive value of engineered preclinical models, and utilizing its vast clinical materials to select the right drugs and patients for specific treatments. The new center's administrative structure will facilitate more effective collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnology commercial partners.

"The Center for Applied Cancer Science represents a new academic construct that, in addition to deciphering cancer's complexity and discovering new therapeutic leads, has an unprecedented opportunity to change the practice of how drugs are discovered and developed," says DePinho.


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Contact: Bill Schaller
william_schaller@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5357
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
30-Mar-2004


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