Dana-Farber debuts new name, state-of-the-art facility for integrative therapies

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BOSTON—The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is pleased to announce the opening of the new Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living, underscoring Dana-Farber’s commitment to providing cutting-edge patient therapies and support for the “whole person” during and after treatment. Increasing data has indicated that integrative therapies can help alleviate side effects of cancer therapy. The Zakim Center, as it is commonly referred to, helps patients maintain the best possible quality of life during and after cancer treatment. Services that are offered include acupuncture, massage, meditation and mindfulness, expressive arts therapies, integrative medicine and nutrition consultations, and movement and other exercise programs.

The opening of the new, state-of-the-art Zakim Center marks the first time that the Zakim Center will be housed in a specially designed facility within the Institute, making it the first comprehensive cancer center in Boston to offer such a broad selection of supportive services. This dedicated space will allow Dana-Farber to meet the increasingly large patient interest in integrative services, while expanding healthy living initiatives. It features five treatment rooms for acupuncture and massage, a consultation room for integrative medicine and nutrition services, a Mind Body Studio for yoga and group movement class, and an exercise training studio. Patients using the Zakim Center often report reductions in cancer-related pain, less fatigue and nausea, and overall better quality of life. 

“The Zakim Center was truly innovative when it was created, and it continues to be today. This dedicated new space will allow us to create an environment focused on healing and expand our services to a greater proportion of our patients,” said Jennifer Ligibel, MD, Director of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living.  “Additionally, the new center will allow us to expand our focus on Healthy Living. Over the last few years, mounting evidence has demonstrated that healthy nutrition and physical activity not only help patients become stronger and more resilient during therapy but are also linked to better outcomes—lower rates of cancer recurrence and mortality—in individuals with many forms of cancer.”

Yvette Colon, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, is a dedicated Zakim Center user. She has benefited from group exercise, creative arts, music therapy, meditation, and acupuncture. While not currently in active treatment, Colon remains under close medical surveillance. She credits the Zakim Center with helping her to enjoy life to its fullest. 

“The Zakim Center has given me the opportunity and space to focus on improving my health and wellbeing by helping me heal my mind, body and spirit,” she said. “I am extremely excited to use the new Zakim space which is giving me a jolt of renewed energy and optimism.” 


The Zakim Center was formed in 2000 as part of the legacy of Leonard “Lenny” Zakim, who was a patient at Dana-Farber in the 1990’s. He believed that more patients should have access to integrative therapies that can positively impact one’s quality of life.

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