Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently launched the Centers for Early Detection and Interception, led by Irene Ghobrial, MD; Sapna Syngal, MD, MPH; and Elizabeth O’Donnell, MD. This initiative builds upon decades of leadership in research and clinical application to bring novel technology and expanded clinical offerings to patients at increased risk of developing cancer due to factors including genetic conditions, family history, precursor conditions, or cancer survivorship. These efforts comprise centers for blood cancers, solid tumors, and a Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) Clinic. This fully integrated program streamlines patient access and provides more robust opportunities for cross-disciplinary research.
Within this broader context, the Center for Early Detection and Interception of Blood Cancers, formerly known as the Center for Prevention of Progression, evaluates individuals who are at increased risk for developing a blood cancer, identifying their risk of disease progression and intercepting early to prevent progression. The clinic was the first of its kind in the nation and has continued to bring together leading providers and researchers specializing in early detection across blood cancers, including myeloma, leukemias, lymphomas, or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Under Dr. Irene Ghobrial, together with Dana-Farber senior leadership, the Center has gained international prominence. It provided over 9,000 patient visits last year alone, and we expect continued growth under the broader early detection and interception initiative.
The Center’s mission is rooted in identifying biological markers that predict progression, developing screening tests that identify individuals at higher risk of progression, and developing targeted therapies to prevent or delay progression to cancer. It is estimated that more than 30 million people in the United States alone carry precursor hematologic malignancies and could benefit from the services provided by the Center, which specializes in these precursor conditions, including clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), clonal cytopenia of undetermined significance (CCUS), monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL), lymphoid clonal hematopoiesis (Lymphoid-CH), Immunoglobulin M (IgM) MGUS, and asymptomatic Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (AWM). Patients who come to the Center are followed by a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive team of hematologists/oncologists with condition-specific expertise. Additionally, patients have access to advanced diagnostics, individualized risk assessment, genetic counseling, referral to specialists, and the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
Patients have access to a range of clinical trials, including screening, treatment, and non-therapeutic trials that advance understanding of how to improve patient care for individuals with precursor hematologic conditions. The Center leads several immunotherapy clinical trials in SMM, including bi-specific antibodies, CAR-T cells, and targeted three- or four-drug combination therapies.