Breast cancer survivor offers wisdom at Faulkner satellite center
Call 877-422-3324 today to make an appointment
Make your appointment or second opinion with Dana-Farber today to meet with an onsite specialist.
Can’t get to Boston? Explore our Online Second Opinion service to get expert advice from Dana-Farber oncologists.
Toll-Free Number866-408-DFCI (3324)
Discover the ways to give and how to get involved to support Dana-Farber.
Poet Richard Fox gains insight – and material – through cancer treatment
A family faces cancer in an unfamiliar city – with help
Choosing mastectomy or not: Studying young women's surgical choices
Jeff's targeted therapy has kept his advanced lung cancer at bay.
Rhabdoid tumor of the kidney is a malignant tumor of the kidney. These tumors usually occur in children younger than 2 years. Learn about rhabdoid tumors and find information on how we support and care for children with rhabdoid tumors of the kidney before, during, and after treatment.
The Solid Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center treats children and teens with a variety of solid malignancies, including bone and soft tissue tumors, liver and kidney tumors, neuroblastomas, retinoblastomas and rare tumors. Our doctors provide unparalleled expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and management of these diseases.
Your child's care team will include pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, and nurses with expertise in treating your child's specific type of cancer.
Our physicians are focused on family-centered care: From your first visit, you'll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting your family's needs. We consider you and your child integral parts of the care team. Our specialists will collaborate with you to customize a treatment plan that takes the needs of your child and your family into account.
As well as providing access to a range of innovative clinical trials through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, we are New England's Phase I referral center for the Children's Oncology Group, which means we're able to offer clinical trials unavailable at other regional centers.
Your child will have access to long-term treatment and childhood cancer survivor support through Dana-Farber's David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic.
From diagnosis through treatment and survivorship, our team will be able to answer all of your questions about your child's care.
Find out more about our Solid Tumor Center, including the diseases we treat and our specialized programs for bone and soft tissue tumors, liver tumors, neuroblastoma, rare tumors, and retinoblastoma.
Malignant rhabdoid tumor is a rare childhood tumor that commonly starts in the kidneys but also can occur in other soft tissues or in the brain, where it is referred to as atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.
Malignant rhabdoid tumor occurs most commonly in infants and toddlers; the average age of diagnosis is 15 months old. There are about 20 to 25 new cases of malignant rhabdoid tumor diagnosed each year in the United States. Cells from a malignant rhabdoid tumor can spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
The treatment of malignant rhabdoid tumor involves a combination of therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. However, because this tumor is rare and aggressive, there is no defined standard of care, and treatment options may be tailored to your child's situation. Your child's doctor and other members of your care team will discuss the options with you in depth. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is a world-leading center in the research and treatment of rhabdoid tumors. Our vibrant program of basic and translational research into rhabdoid tumors is uncovering new opportunities to improve the care of children with malignant rhabdoid tumor. Our multidisciplinary treatment approach through our Kidney Tumor Program ensures in-depth discussion of each child and personalized treatment plans for every patient.
Find more in-depth information on malignant rhabdoid tumor on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s website, including answers to:
Dramatic improvements in survival have been achieved for children and adolescents with cancer. Between 1975 and 2010, childhood cancer mortality decreased by more than 50%. Childhood and adolescent cancer survivors require close follow-up because cancer therapy side effects may persist or develop months or years after treatment. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer for specific information about the incidence, type, and monitoring of late effects in childhood and adolescent cancer survivors.)
Primary brain tumors are a diverse group of diseases that together constitute the most common solid tumor of childhood. The PDQ childhood brain tumor treatment summaries are primarily organized according to the World Health Organization classification of nervous system tumors. Brain tumors are classified according to histology, but immunohistochemical analysis, cytogenetic and molecular genetic findings, and measures of mitotic activity are increasingly used in tumor diagnosis and classification. Tumor location and extent of spread are important factors that affect treatment and prognosis. For a full description of the classification of nervous system tumors and a link to the corresponding treatment summary for each type of brain tumor, refer to the PDQ summary on Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors Treatment Overview.
Central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a rare, clinically aggressive tumor that most often affects children aged 3 years and younger but can occur in older children and adults. About one-half of AT/RTs arise in the posterior fossa. The diagnostic evaluation includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the neuraxis and lumbar cerebrospinal fluid examination. AT/RT has been linked to somatic and germline mutations of SMARCB1, a tumor suppressor gene. There is no current standard treatment for children with AT/RT. Multimodal treatment consisting of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy is under evaluation.
Based on present biologic understanding, AT/RT is part of a larger family of rhabdoid tumors. In this summary, the term AT/RT refers to CNS tumors only and the term rhabdoid tumor reflects the possibility of both CNS and non-CNS tumors. Unless specifically noted in the text, this summary is referring to CNS AT/RT.
The exact incidence of childhood CNS AT/RT is difficult to determine because the tumor has been widely recognized for only the last decade.
The incidence in older patients is unknown. However, in the Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Registry (AT/RT Registry), 12 (29%) of the 42 patients were older than 36 months at the time of diagnosis.
Childhood AT/RT is a clinically aggressive tumor that primarily occurs in children younger than 3 years, but it also can occur in older children and has been reported in adults.
In about one-half of patients, the tumor is located in the posterior fossa, although it can occur anywhere in the CNS. Tumors of the posterior fossa may occur in the cerebellopontine angle or more midline. Involvement of individual cranial nerves has also been noted.
Because AT/RT grows rapidly, patients typically have a fairly short history of progressive symptoms, measured in days to weeks. Signs and symptoms are dependent on tumor location. Young patients with posterior fossa tumors usually present with symptoms related to hydrocephalus, including the following:
They may also develop ataxia or regression of motor skills.
Data from the AT/RT Registry suggest that approximately 20% of patients present with disseminated disease. Dissemination is typically through leptomeningeal pathways seeding the spine and other areas of the brain. There are also reports of rare patients with synchronous renal rhabdoid tumor and CNS AT/RT.
All patients with suspected childhood AT/RT should have MRI of the brain and spine. Unless medically contraindicated, patients should also have lumbar cerebrospinal fluid inspected for evidence of tumorPatients may also undergo renal ultrasound to detect synchronous tumors.
AT/RT cannot be reliably distinguished from other malignant brain tumors based on clinical history or radiographic evaluation. Surgery is necessary to obtain tissue and confirm the diagnosis of AT/RT. Immunostaining for loss of SMARCB1 (INI1, hSNF5) protein expression is used to confirm the diagnosis, especially in children younger than 3 years.
Prognostic factors that affect survival for AT/RTs are not fully delineated.
Known factors associated with a poor outcome include the following:
Most published information on outcomes for patients with AT/RT is based on small series and is retrospective in nature. Initial retrospective studies reported an average survival from diagnosis of only about 12 months. In a retrospective report, 2-year overall survival was better for patients who underwent a gross-total resection than for those who had a subtotal resection. However, in this study the effect of radiation therapy on survival was less clear.
There are reports of long-term survivors. Notably, improved survival has been reported for those receiving intensive multimodal therapy.
Smith MA, Altekruse SF, Adamson PC, et al.: Declining childhood and adolescent cancer mortality. Cancer 120 (16): 2497-506, 2014.
Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, et al., eds.: WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System. 4th ed. Lyon, France: IARC Press, 2007.
Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, et al.: The 2007 WHO classification of tumours of the central nervous system. Acta Neuropathol 114 (2): 97-109, 2007.
Packer RJ, Biegel JA, Blaney S, et al.: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system: report on workshop. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 24 (5): 337-42, 2002 Jun-Jul.
Ho DM, Hsu CY, Wong TT, et al.: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system: a comparative study with primitive neuroectodermal tumor/medulloblastoma. Acta Neuropathol 99 (5): 482-8, 2000.
Woehrer A, Slavc I, Waldhoer T, et al.: Incidence of atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors in children: a population-based study by the Austrian Brain Tumor Registry, 1996-2006. Cancer 116 (24): 5725-32, 2010.
Hilden JM, Meerbaum S, Burger P, et al.: Central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor: results of therapy in children enrolled in a registry. J Clin Oncol 22 (14): 2877-84, 2004.
Burger PC, Yu IT, Tihan T, et al.: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system: a highly malignant tumor of infancy and childhood frequently mistaken for medulloblastoma: a Pediatric Oncology Group study. Am J Surg Pathol 22 (9): 1083-92, 1998.
Lutterbach J, Liegibel J, Koch D, et al.: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors in adult patients: case report and review of the literature. J Neurooncol 52 (1): 49-56, 2001.
Biegel JA, Fogelgren B, Wainwright LM, et al.: Germline INI1 mutation in a patient with a central nervous system atypical teratoid tumor and renal rhabdoid tumor. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 28 (1): 31-7, 2000.
Bruggers CS, Bleyl SB, Pysher T, et al.: Clinicopathologic comparison of familial versus sporadic atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) of the central nervous system. Pediatr Blood Cancer 56 (7): 1026-31, 2011.
Kordes U, Gesk S, Frühwald MC, et al.: Clinical and molecular features in patients with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor or malignant rhabdoid tumor. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 49 (2): 176-81, 2010.
Dufour C, Beaugrand A, Le Deley MC, et al.: Clinicopathologic prognostic factors in childhood atypical teratoid and rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system: a multicenter study. Cancer 118 (15): 3812-21, 2012.
Lafay-Cousin L, Hawkins C, Carret AS, et al.: Central nervous system atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours: the Canadian Paediatric Brain Tumour Consortium experience. Eur J Cancer 48 (3): 353-9, 2012.
Rorke LB, Packer RJ, Biegel JA: Central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors of infancy and childhood: definition of an entity. J Neurosurg 85 (1): 56-65, 1996.
Athale UH, Duckworth J, Odame I, et al.: Childhood atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system: a meta-analysis of observational studies. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 31 (9): 651-63, 2009.
Olson TA, Bayar E, Kosnik E, et al.: Successful treatment of disseminated central nervous system malignant rhabdoid tumor. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 17 (1): 71-5, 1995.
Tekautz TM, Fuller CE, Blaney S, et al.: Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT): improved survival in children 3 years of age and older with radiation therapy and high-dose alkylator-based chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol 23 (7): 1491-9, 2005.
Chi SN, Zimmerman MA, Yao X, et al.: Intensive multimodality treatment for children with newly diagnosed CNS atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. J Clin Oncol 27 (3): 385-9, 2009.
Childhood central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) was first described as a discrete clinical entity in 1987  based on its distinctive pathologic and genetic characteristics. Before then, it was most often classified as a medulloblastoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumor, or choroid plexus carcinoma. The World Health Organization began classifying AT/RT as an embryonal grade IV neoplasm in 1993.
Histologically, classic AT/RT is morphologically heterogeneous, typically containing sheets of large epithelioid cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and scattered rhabdoid cells, most often with accompanying components of primitive neuroectodermal cells (small round blue cells), mesenchymal cells, and/or glial cells.
Immunohistochemical staining for epithelial markers (cytokeratin or epithelial membrane antigen), glial fibrillary acidic protein, synaptophysin (or neurofilament), and smooth muscle (desmin) may help to identify the heterogeneity of differentiation, but will vary depending on the cellular composition. Rhabdoid cells, while not present in all AT/RTs, will express vimentin, epithelial membrane antigen, and smooth muscle actin.
Immunohistochemistry for the SMARCB1 protein is useful in establishing the diagnosis of AT/RT. A loss of SMARCB1 staining is noted in neoplastic cells, but staining is retained in non-neoplastic cells (e.g., vascular endothelial cells).
AT/RT is a rapidly growing tumor that can have an MIB-1 labeling index of 50% to 100%.
AT/RT is the first primary pediatric brain tumor for which a candidate tumor suppressor gene, SMARCB1 (also known as INI1 and hSNF5), has been identified.SMARCB1 loss causes aberrant activation of the sonic hedgehog pathway and may drive tumorigenesis through the expression of GLI1. In one series of six infants, AT/RTs were thought to arise from the superior medullary velum. Sonic hedgehog signaling through expression of GLI1 is critically involved in morphogenesis of the cerebellar midline structures, suggesting, in part, why tumors arise in this region.SMARCB1 has been found to be abnormal in the majority of rhabdoid tumors, including CNS, renal, and extrarenal rhabdoid malignancies. Alterations (mutations as well as gains/losses) in other genes are very uncommon in patients with SMARCB1-associated AT/RT.
SMARCB1 is a component of a Switch (SWI) and Sucrose non-fermenting (SNF) adenosine triphosphate–dependent chromatin-remodeling complex. The exact function of the SMARCB1 gene is unknown, but it is likely that a mutation results in altered transcriptional regulation of downstream targets. Rare familial cases of rhabdoid tumors expressing SMARCB1 and lacking SMARCB1 mutations have also been associated with germline mutations of SMARCA4/BRG1, another member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex.
In addition to somatic mutations, germline mutations in SMARCB1 have been reported in a substantial subset of AT/RT patients. A study of 65 children with rhabdoid tumors found that 23 (35%) had germline mutations and/or deletions of SMARCB1. Children with germline alterations in SMARCB1 presented at an earlier age than sporadic cases (median age, approximately 5 months versus 18 months) and were more likely to present with multiple tumors. One parent was found to be a carrier of the SMARCB1 germline abnormality in 7 of 22 evaluated cases showing germline alterations, with four of the carrier parents being unaffected by SMARCB1-associated cancers. This indicates that AT/RT shows an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern with incomplete penetrance.
Gonadal mosaicism has also been observed, as evidenced by families in which multiple siblings are affected by AT/RT and have identical SMARCB1 alterations, but both parents lack a SMARCB1 mutation/deletion. Screening children diagnosed with AT/RT for germline SMARCB1 mutations may provide useful information for counseling families on the genetic implications of their child’s AT/RT diagnosis.
RTPS, related primarily to germline SMARCB1 alterations, has been clearly defined. RTPS is highly suggested in patients with synchronous occurrence of renal malignant rhabdoid tumor and AT/RT, bilateral malignant rhabdoid tumors of the kidney, or malignant rhabdoid tumors in two or more siblings.
This syndrome is manifested by a marked predisposition to the development of malignant rhabdoid tumors in infancy and early childhood. Up to one-third of AT/RTs are thought to arise in the setting of RTPS, and the majority of these occur within the first year of life. The most common non-CNS malignancy of RTPS is the malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney, which is also noted in infancy.
For more information about RTPS, refer to the Rhabdoid predisposition syndrome section in the PDQ summary on Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment.
Kleihues P, Louis DN, Scheithauer BW, et al.: The WHO classification of tumors of the nervous system. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 61 (3): 215-25; discussion 226-9, 2002.
Kleihues P, Cavenee WK, eds.: Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Nervous System. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2000.
McLendon RE, Adekunle A, Rajaram V, et al.: Embryonal central nervous system neoplasms arising in infants and young children: a pediatric brain tumor consortium study. Arch Pathol Lab Med 135 (8): 984-93, 2011.
Eaton KW, Tooke LS, Wainwright LM, et al.: Spectrum of SMARCB1/INI1 mutations in familial and sporadic rhabdoid tumors. Pediatr Blood Cancer 56 (1): 7-15, 2011.
Hasselblatt M, Gesk S, Oyen F, et al.: Nonsense mutation and inactivation of SMARCA4 (BRG1) in an atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor showing retained SMARCB1 (INI1) expression. Am J Surg Pathol 35 (6): 933-5, 2011.
Biegel JA, Tan L, Zhang F, et al.: Alterations of the hSNF5/INI1 gene in central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors and renal and extrarenal rhabdoid tumors. Clin Cancer Res 8 (11): 3461-7, 2002.
Jagani Z, Mora-Blanco EL, Sansam CG, et al.: Loss of the tumor suppressor Snf5 leads to aberrant activation of the Hedgehog-Gli pathway. Nat Med 16 (12): 1429-33, 2010.
Tomita T, Frassanito P: Tumors of the superior medullary velum in infancy and childhood: report of 6 cases. J Neurosurg Pediatr 11 (1): 52-9, 2013.
Lee RS, Stewart C, Carter SL, et al.: A remarkably simple genome underlies highly malignant pediatric rhabdoid cancers. J Clin Invest 122 (8): 2983-8, 2012.
Kieran MW, Roberts CW, Chi SN, et al.: Absence of oncogenic canonical pathway mutations in aggressive pediatric rhabdoid tumors. Pediatr Blood Cancer 59 (7): 1155-7, 2012.
Hasselblatt M, Isken S, Linge A, et al.: High-resolution genomic analysis suggests the absence of recurrent genomic alterations other than SMARCB1 aberrations in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 52 (2): 185-90, 2013.
Biegel JA, Kalpana G, Knudsen ES, et al.: The role of INI1 and the SWI/SNF complex in the development of rhabdoid tumors: meeting summary from the workshop on childhood atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors. Cancer Res 62 (1): 323-8, 2002.
Schneppenheim R, Frühwald MC, Gesk S, et al.: Germline nonsense mutation and somatic inactivation of SMARCA4/BRG1 in a family with rhabdoid tumor predisposition syndrome. Am J Hum Genet 86 (2): 279-84, 2010.
There is no defined staging system for childhood central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor. For treatment purposes, patients are classified as having newly diagnosed or recurrent disease with or without neuraxis dissemination.
There is no established standard treatment for children with central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT). Given the highly aggressive nature of the tumor, most patients have been treated with intensive multimodal therapy. However, the young age of most patients limits the extent of treatment, particularly radiation therapy.
Treatment options for newly diagnosed CNS AT/RT include the following:
The extent of the surgical resection may affect survival. Data from the Central Nervous System Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor Registry (AT/RT Registry) suggest that patients who have had a complete resection may have a longer median survival, although complete surgical resection is often difficult given the invasive nature of the tumor.
Chemotherapy has been the main adjuvant therapy for very young children with AT/RT. Cooperative group studies that included children younger than 36 months demonstrated poor survival when treated with standard chemotherapeutic regimens alone. The Children’s Cancer Group reported a 2-year event-free survival (EFS) of 14% for 28 children younger than 36 months treated with multiagent chemotherapy.
Intensive regimens that utilize varying combinations of high-dose chemotherapy,[Level of evidence: 3iA]; [Level of evidence: 3iiiDi] intrathecal chemotherapy, and radiation therapy have led to prolonged survival for some patients. Thirteen patients in the AT/RT Registry were treated with high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell rescue as part of initial therapy. Four of these patients, two of whom also received radiation, were alive without progressive disease 21.5 to 90 months following diagnosis at last report. Of 15 evaluable children, all younger than 32 months at diagnosis, who were on a chemotherapy Head Start III protocol, 2 survived for more than 47 months.[Level of evidence: 3iA]
Radiation therapy appears to have a positive impact on survival for AT/RT patients.
Evidence (multimodal therapy):
Because AT/RT is responsive to radiation therapy, this modality is incorporated into many treatment protocols.
Prospective cooperative group clinical trials for AT/RT are greatly needed to better understand how age and extent of therapy affect survival.
Early-phase therapeutic trials may be available for selected patients. These trials may be available via Children’s Oncology Group phase I institutions, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, or other entities. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Geyer JR, Sposto R, Jennings M, et al.: Multiagent chemotherapy and deferred radiotherapy in infants with malignant brain tumors: a report from the Children's Cancer Group. J Clin Oncol 23 (30): 7621-31, 2005.
Nicolaides T, Tihan T, Horn B, et al.: High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system. J Neurooncol 98 (1): 117-23, 2010.
Gardner SL, Asgharzadeh S, Green A, et al.: Intensive induction chemotherapy followed by high dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue in young children newly diagnosed with central nervous system atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors. Pediatr Blood Cancer 51 (2): 235-40, 2008.
Finkelstein-Shechter T, Gassas A, Mabbott D, et al.: Atypical teratoid or rhabdoid tumors: improved outcome with high-dose chemotherapy. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 32 (5): e182-6, 2010.
Zaky W, Dhall G, Ji L, et al.: Intensive induction chemotherapy followed by myeloablative chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue for young children newly-diagnosed with central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors: the Head Start III experience. Pediatr Blood Cancer 61 (1): 95-101, 2014.
Buscariollo DL, Park HS, Roberts KB, et al.: Survival outcomes in atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor for patients undergoing radiotherapy in a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results analysis. Cancer 118 (17): 4212-9, 2012.
Zimmerman MA, Goumnerova LC, Proctor M, et al.: Continuous remission of newly diagnosed and relapsed central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor. J Neurooncol 72 (1): 77-84, 2005.
De Amorim Bernstein K, Sethi R, Trofimov A, et al.: Early clinical outcomes using proton radiation for children with central nervous system atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 86 (1): 114-20, 2013.
There is no standard treatment for recurrent childhood central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with childhood atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
This information is provided by the National Cancer Institute.
This information was last updated on September 5, 2014.
Many children with cancer receive treatment in the outpatient setting, which allows them to stay in school and continue to develop intellectually and socially. However, returning to school can be an emotional experience; our Back to School Program is designed to ease your child's transition back to the classroom.
Concierge Services is your one-stop place to learn about Dana-Farber programs, services and resources, as well as information on getting around Boston, finding lodging or restaurants, and activities in the area.
The Expressive Arts Therapy program, sponsored by the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, provides adult patients, family members, and caregivers with a variety of options to support well-being during cancer treatment. From live music meditation to painting technique workshops, the program offers a range of creative outlets to suit every interest.
Dana-Farber and Children's Hospital, including parking facilities, are fully accessible to people with disabilities. There are wheelchairs at the main entrance, and security staff can provide personal assistance. We also have many educational materials available in large print and audiotape formats.
The Ethics Consultation Service is available for patients and families who may be facing difficult decisions and choices regarding care. Our goal is to bring together patients, families and health care providers to talk about ethical concerns and help everyone involved arrive at a resolution that is right for all.
Find practical tips and suggestions for individuals caring for a family member or friend with cancer, including creating a caregiving plan, finding community resources, and looking after your own well-being.
Friends' Place provides personal consultations to help cancer patients of all ages cope with changes in physical appearance that result from cancer treatment. Our experienced, compassionate team provides fittings for compression garments or breast prostheses, helps with wigs and other head coverings, and offers make-up and skincare advice.
The Friends' Corner Gift Shop, located on the first floor of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, offers a wide selection of unique gifts and everyday items for patients, families and staff.
Every year, thousands of patients with cancer from around the world come to Dana-Farber for their care. We provide a wide array of logistical and other services for individuals who live outside the United States.
Dana-Farber provides interpreting services for patients whose first language is not English. Interpreters may be requested for any activity, including registration, booking appointments, attending treatments and exams, support groups, and meetings with doctors and other members of your health care team.
Just for Teens provides programs and activities for teens and young adults with cancer at the Jimmy Fund Clinic and Children's Hospital Boston. We offer activities and events both inside and out of the hospital so that you have creative ways to pass the time and can meet other teens who are going through similar experiences.
Our nutritionists are registered dietitians who can assist you in planning an optimal diet during any stage of your cancer journey, cope with any side effects you may experience, and answer your questions about the latest findings on cancer and nutrition.
The Eleanor and Maxwell Blum Patient and Family Resource Center and its satellite resource rooms are staffed by health care professionals and provide computer stations, books, brochures, videos, and CDs to help you find information and support on a variety of issues about cancer treatment and care.
Patients websites help friends and family members stay up-to-date on their loved ones' condition and write messages of support and encouragement.
The Dana-Farber pharmacy fills prescriptions for all pediatric and adult patients. Our pharmacists are an extension of the patient care team and work closely with your physicians to provide seamless, convenient, safe care.
More than 1,200 Dana-Farber patients and their families have enjoyed free trips to baseball games, theater shows, museums, and other attractions this year through the Recreational Resources program.
Through all stages of cancer treatment and survivorship, our Spiritual Care staff is available 24 hours a day to provide emotional and spiritual support for adults and pediatric patients and family members.
Integrative therapies, also known as complementary therapies, range from acupuncture and massage to nutritional guidance and music therapy. Patients treated at the Zakim Center credit its services with easing nausea, improving circulation, and reducing pain, stress, and anxiety associated with cancer treatment.
Browse clinical trials