By Lori Dougherty
Photography by Getty Images, Sam Ogden
Since the seminal radio broadcast in 1948 that introduced the nation to a young cancer patient dubbed “Jimmy” and the researchers and clinicians dedicated to caring for children with cancer, the Jimmy Fund’s generous community of supporters has contributed an incredible total of more than $1.5 billion so far, to help Dana-Farber Cancer Institute defy cancer for adults and children everywhere.
Gifts large and small, from across the country and around the world, continue to fuel groundbreaking advances in research and patient care for all forms of cancer—even the rarest and most difficult to treat. While there is much more work to be done, here is just a small sampling of the progress made possible by gifts to the Jimmy Fund.
Dr. Sidney Farber hires the nation’s first full-time oncology social worker, enhancing his concept of Total Patient Care.
Dana-Farber researchers achieve the first remissions in Wilms tumor of the kidney, a common childhood cancer, boosting cure rates from 40 to 85%.
The Jimmy Fund Building adds four floors, furthering Dr. Farber’s revolutionary vision of research labs and patient clinics under one roof. The building was originally completed in 1952 with help from Jimmy Fund supporters.
Dana-Farber researchers develop the means to collect and transfuse blood-clotting factors called platelets, to combat bleeding—a common side effect of chemotherapy.
Dana-Farber launches the first clinical trials for children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), laying the foundation for today’s cure rates of 85 to 90%.
Two out of every three children who enter the Jimmy Fund Clinic are cured.
Dana-Farber establishes the High Risk Research Clinic, one of the nation’s first genetic testing programs for members of families with an inherited susceptibility to cancer.
The Institute establishes the first Adult Patient and Family Advisory Council in the U.S., now a national model for patient-centered care.
Dana-Farber basic scientists discover how a protein called PD-L1 helps cancer cells evade attack by the immune system, leading to FDA approval of a new class of immunotherapy drugs.
Dana-Farber establishes the Cancer Care Equity Program to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes and create a national model for translating research into interventions.
In response to the alarming rise of colorectal cancer in people under age 50, Dana-Farber opens the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center, one of the first of its kind.
Following a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber, the FDA grants its first approval for CAR T-cell therapy for adults with multiple myeloma.
The FDA grants accelerated approval for a novel metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treatment based on an international clinical trial co-led by Dana-Farber.