$20M Gift to Dana-Farber Will Establish Fund for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

$20M Gift to Dana-Farber Will Establish Fund for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will get $20 million to create the Saverin Breast Cancer Research Fund aimed at extending the lives of metastatic breast cancer patients.

The gift from the “Saverin Family” is the largest individual gift for breast cancer research in the institute’s history. No further information was disclosed about the benefactor.

The fund will be led by Eric Winer, MD, whose research has focused on the most challenging aspects of the disease, including understanding molecular factors that may help predict treatment reactions. Winer is Dana-Farber’s senior vice president for medical affairs, chief of breast oncology at the institute’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers, and Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer Research.

His role in the fund is to support investigations related to treatment and ultimately cures for metastatic breast cancer — cancer which has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the brain, liver, lungs, or bones.

“The Saverin Family’s foresight will allow us to tackle the unsolved challenges by building on the advances we have already forged, and to develop entirely new strategies,” Winer said in a news release. “Their exceptional generosity provides resources we need to further metastatic breast cancer research that is underway, and, more importantly, to open bold avenues of investigation.”

Specifically, the new fund will help advance research focused on resistance to hormonal therapies and targeted treatments. With the help of advisory boards consisting of specialists from Dana-Farber and other organizations, it is hoped that the fund will make marked progress over the next five years.

“This gift will make a profound difference in the lives of people living with breast cancer today and in the future, and we are incredibly grateful to the Saverin Family,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO at Dana-Farber. “Their visionary investment will make our outstanding breast cancer program that much stronger in reaching key discoveries for patients worldwide.”

According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, more than 154,000 individuals in the United States have metastatic breast cancer.

Established in 1947, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leading global center of cancer research and treatment.