In 1947, Dr. Sidney Farber's pioneering research developed modern chemotherapy for children with leukemia. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been a worldwide medical research leader ever since. Today, we are applying our pioneering research tradition to developing novel approaches towards understanding and treating COVID-19.
Dana-Farber scientists are developing groundbreaking strategies to bar the COVID-19 virus from entering cells — thus preventing infection and averting transmission of the virus. Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding organizations, we are collaborating with fellow scientists worldwide to map an understanding of how the virus interacts with its host human proteins.
Our researchers are also at the forefront of developing antibody therapy for COVID-19 — utilizing a Dana-Farber-developed collection of 27 billion human antibodies against viruses, bacteria, and other bodily invaders. Dana-Farber's prior experience in developing treatments for SARS, MERS, and other viral-borne illnesses gives us a deep level of expertise for attacking this new virus.
Developing Novel Approaches Towards Understanding and Treating COVID-19
While Dana-Farber clinical investigators followed leads on how the COVID-19 virus affected patients, laboratory scientists focused on clues in the basic genetic information that enables the coronavirus to replicate and infect human cells.
Drawing on their knowledge of cancer drug mechanisms, and of the adverse side effects of some of those drugs, Dana-Farber scientists are helping lead an array of clinical trials of potential treatments for COVID-19.
A report by researchers at Dana-Farber and other institutions suggests that while COVID-19 has complicated the treatment of cancer patients, it has also spurred creative solutions to challenges in clinical care, and research into the new disease is benefiting from insights gained over years of cancer research.
Dana-Farber researchers, with colleagues at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health, have identified a diverse set of antibodies that effectively neutralize the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, a key step in the development of agents to treat and prevent the disease.
A new study co-authored by Dana-Farber’s Toni Choueiri, MD, and published in The Lancet, tracks patients from a broad geographic distribution and across practice settings, and identifies risk factors unique to cancer patients.
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have launched a clinical test of a blood cancer drug in patients infected with the COVID-19 virus. The test follows several case reports in which the drug, ibrutinib, appeared to protect against lung damage and respiratory distress caused by the virus.
Strategies to bar the coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering cells — thereby preventing infection and averting transmission of the virus — are among the most promising treatment approaches to COVID-19. A novel approach called "stapled peptides" has been pioneered by Dana-Farber's Loren Walensky, MD, PhD, and his colleagues.
Dana-Farber researcher Marc Vidal, PhD, is part of a collaborative team that has created a reference map of over 50,000 protein-protein interactions that provides information to help scientists better understand how faulty genes cause diseases such as cancer, and how viruses (such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) interact with their host human proteins.
As scientists race to develop and test new treatments for COVID-19, Dana-Farber’s Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, and his lab team are bringing one of the world's most formidable resources to the effort: a "library" of 27 billion human antibodies against viruses, bacteria, and other bodily invaders.
Additional Information About COVID-19 Research at Dana-Farber