Top 10 moments of the 2010s: A decade of dedication and discovery – thanks to you!

The past 10 years at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund brought many groundbreaking advances in cancer research and care—and countless inspiring stories of hope and courage from our patients. As we close the decade and prepare to start anew, let’s reflect on some of the exciting milestones from the past 10 years, which would not have been possible without you, our community of generous supporters. Thank you for all you do every day to support the Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber, and our patients.

2011: A state-of-the art clinical care center opens

Funded by our recently completed $1.18 billion Mission Possible fundraising campaign and named in honor of the Yawkey Foundation for its $30 million campaign gift, Dana-Farber’s Yawkey Center for Cancer Care opens. The 14-story facility, designed with significant input from Dana-Farber patients, helps the Institute bring its lifesaving care to more patients, and earns LEED Gold certification.

2011: Dana-Farber launches Profile

Profile becomes one of the nation’s most comprehensive precision cancer medicine initiatives, offering genetic sequencing to all new Dana-Farber patients. To date, more than 30,000 tumor profiles have been generated from over 43,000 participating patients.  This data identifies potentially effective treatments for many patients based on their tumors’ genetic profiles, and also helps inform future cancer research

2013: The Jimmy Fund and the Boston Red Sox celebrate 60 years in style

Since 1953, the Jimmy Fund and the Boston Red Sox have enjoyed the longest and most successful partnership between a sports team and a charity in the history of professional sports. The two mark the 60-year milestone in myriad ways including player visits to Dana-Farber throughout the 2013 season, a successful WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon live at Fenway Park, and a World Series win! Go Sox!

2014: PD-1 inhibitor immunotherapies change the landscape of cancer medicine

The FDA approves the first PD-1 inhibitor drug, a new class of cancer immunotherapy based on a discovery in the basic science laboratory of Dana-Farber’s Gordon Freeman, PhD. PD-1 and other checkpoint inhibitor drugs are soon in clinical trials for a wide range of cancers, including head and neck, kidney, lung, neurologic, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other blood cancers. As of 2019, six PD-1 immunotherapy drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 14 different types of cancer, and clinical trials for other inhibitors involve thousands of patients with a wide range of cancer types, including rare diseases with few treatment options.

2015: Twenty-five years of creating a legacy

The Dana-Farber Society marks 25 years of honoring those who leave a legacy gift to Dana-Farber in their wills or estate plans. More than 1,000 generous and visionary members ensure a bright future for Dana-Farber and for the future of cancer research in Boston and around the world.

2017: Integrative therapies under one roof

Largely supported by philanthropy, Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living opens its first specially designed, state-of-the-art facility, making Dana-Farber the first comprehensive cancer center in Boston to offer such a broad array of complementary therapies under one roof. Offering services such as acupuncture, massage, meditation and mindfulness, expressive arts therapies, integrative medicine and nutrition consultations, and exercise programs, the Zakim Center helps patients maintain the best quality of life possible during and after cancer treatment.

2017: A revolution in immunotherapy

Based in part on Dana-Farber clinical trials, the FDA approves the first CAR T-cell therapy, a new form of immunotherapy in which immune cells are removed from the patient’s body and reprogrammed to attack the specific cells of the patient’s cancer. Dana-Farber becomes one of the few cancer centers in the nation to offer this new treatment.

2018: Thirty years of walking

The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk celebrates its 30th year. More than 8,300 walkers, including many current and former patients and their loved ones, took to the course to raise more than $8.6 million for cancer research and care at Dana-Farber.

2019: Record-breaking ride

The Pan-Mass Challenge marks its 40th year with a record-breaking $63 million donation to Dana-Farber, the largest single gift in the Institute’s history. More than 6,800 riders take on 12 routes of up to 192 miles, with 100% of every rider-raised dollar going to the same goal: to advance critical cancer research and compassionate care at Dana-Farber. This remarkable year brings the PMC’s cumulative giving to $717 million.

2019: International impact

William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, the Sidney Farber, MD, Professor of Medicine at Dana-Farber, is awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with two other scientists, for discoveries revealing how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, a mechanism that not only is crucial to survival, but is entwined with cancer and other diseases. The findings could lead to new treatments to benefit patients at Dana-Farber and around the world.  

We could not have accomplished these groundbreaking, lifesaving moments from the past 10 years without your generous support. Each day, we move one step closer to conquering cancer for patients today and in the future. We are committed to pushing even greater discoveries and progress in the next 10 years!