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The Center for Global Cancer Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings its mission of patient care, research, and teaching to under-resourced settings throughout the world. The Center is committed to providing cancer care to many adults and children who would otherwise have no chance of surviving their diagnosis.
The Center for Global Cancer Medicine (CGCM) was established in 2012 with the goals of providing care, conducting research, and building capacity in under-resourced settings. The Center operates in tandem with the non-profit Partners In Health, in collaboration with several major global cancer institutions around the world, and through long-term partnerships with the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda and the Mirebalais University Hospital in Haiti. Donor generosity supports these efforts.
Members of the CGCM have also contributed to the work of the World Health Organization, the Union for International Cancer Control, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, among other establishments. We support advances at all levels of cancer service delivery in low-income settings — a mission that fits in the spirit of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute itself, which aims to make cancer care available to all who need it.
Dana-Farber engages with many partners around the world to provide global cancer care. Learn more about some of our core collaborators:
The Pediatric Global Health Initiative — a program of Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center — is working to establish centers of excellence in the developing world and train the next generation of leaders. Its mission is to increase the survival of children with cancer and blood disorders, worldwide.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute or get involved.
The Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCOE), located in the rural northern province of Burera in Rwanda, is a leading initiative for the Center for Global Cancer Medicine. After several years of informal collaboration through Partners In Health, Dana-Farber staff members joined President Bill Clinton to dedicate the Center in July, 2012. Before the Center opened, there were no dedicated public cancer treatment services in Rwanda.
More than 2,000 cancer patients were cared for at BBCOE in the first two years. As the primary location for cancer treatment nationwide, BCCOE also offers oncology training for physicians and nurses in Rwanda.
Read Dr. Cyprien Shyirambere's account of providing cancer care in Rwanda.
Read about Sibo Tuyishimire's experience as a young cancer patient in Rwanda.
Read Dr. Shulman's first-hand accounts of bringing cancer care to Rwanda and opening the Butaro Center.
Read about Dana-Farber's partnership in Rwanda in Nature Reviews Cancer.
Read an update from Leslie Lehmann, MD, about the concept of “twinning,” in which American-trained clinicians teach their Rwandan colleagues.
Nurses are essential to safe and effective cancer care in resource-poor settings. In order to train local nurses in oncology fundamentals — such as preparing chemotherapy drugs, administering chemotherapy accurately and safely, helping patients manage symptoms and side effects, and keeping accurate records — Dana-Farber introduced a nursing fellowship program in Rwanda in 2013. Working and teaching at Butaro Cancer Center for three-month intervals, Dana-Farber nurses have been an invaluable asset to sustained progress in cancer service delivery in Rwanda, and two dozen Rwandan nurses have been trained to provide exemplary services on the oncology unit.
Read more about the Dana-Farber Nursing Fellowship Program in Rwanda from Lori Buswell and Barbara Virchick.
Dana-Farber's mission in Haiti, as it is in
Rwanda, is to:
Following the 2010 earthquake that destroyed Haiti's largest hospital and damaged much of the country's health care infrastructure, the Haitian government expanded its plans to construct a small hospital in the city of Mirebalais. In April 2013, these efforts culminated with the opening of University Hospital of Mirebalais. Based on its successful partnership in Rwanda, the
Center for Global Cancer Medicine and PIH are collaborating with Mirebalais to bring cancer care
Today, University Hospital of Mirebalais is the only provider of free oncology services in Haiti. Cancer care at Mirebalais includes:
More than 40 patients are treated daily in the hospital's outpatient cancer clinic. As more patients are treated for cancer, it is essential to build robust systems to track data, share knowledge, and conduct research.
Read more about cancer care in Haiti through a first-hand account by Dr. Ruth Damuse, Oncology Program Director in Haiti.
The Center for Global Cancer Medicine is dedicated to influencing worldwide policies about cancer care, particularly to benefit those in under-resourced countries. Through symposia, publications, and collaborations, the Center addresses the following facts about cancer around the world.
Thanks to the work of Lawrence Shulman, MD, Presidential Scholar of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine, 22 cancer drugs have been added to the World Health Organization's (WHO) List of Essential Medicines. Dr. Shulman and colleagues assembled more than 90 oncologists from around the world, and led the process of deciding which cancer drugs should be recommended for inclusion. Multiple protocols were authored or peer-reviewed by 15 Dana-Farber oncologists.
See the full application
For the past several years, the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Global Health has hosted a satellite meeting during the Annual Conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. The NCI invited the Center for Global Cancer Medicine to co-host the event in Boston in March 2015. This meeting brought oncologists from far and wide, providing an opportunity for networking in Boston, presentation of abstracts, and promoting case-based learning.
Read more about the Symposium
In 2014, Dr. Larry Shulman was asked to be the Guest-Editor of a Special Issue devoted entirely to global cancer medicine, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). A set of peer-reviewed articles have been solicited from authors around the world, with a focus on implementation science. The publication of the JCO Special Issue will occur in early summer, 2015, and will be accompanied by a series of press releases.
With approximately 1.5 billion people living on less than a dollar a day, delivering oncology care is often an overwhelming challenge in the world's poorest areas, particularly Africa. In a recent post by the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Dr. Shulman explained how Dana-Farber is helping to meet this challenge.
"Which countries have the highest rates of common cancers?" From Dana-Farber's Insight blog
"Dana-Farber makes cancer care a global effort" From Dana-Farber's Insight blog
Read a special edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, in which Dana-Farber doctors and researchers contribute articles on the challenges and triumphs of providing cancer care in low-resource settings
Read Dr. Shulman's Perspectives from Nature magazine
Read about Dr. Shulman's leadership in adding 16 cancer drugs to the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines
Read NPR/WBUR Radio's piece on collaborations in Haiti and Rwanda to diagnose cancer cases for patients treated at both cancer centers