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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Receives $50M Gift to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Research

NEW YORK – The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said on Tuesday that it will use a $50 million gift from the Hale family to advance pancreatic cancer research including early detection and precision medicine initiatives.

Specifically, the gift will support Dana-Farber's efforts to tap into health system data to identify patients at risk for developing pancreatic cancer; detect pancreatic cancer earlier through new imaging and blood test technologies; develop treatment methods for early stages of the disease; analyze pancreatic cancer cell biology and interplay with the immune system and stromal cells; and develop clinical trials to evaluate new therapies building on these findings.

The gift is directed to the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which Judith, Robert Jr., and Karen Hale founded in 2016 with a $15 million gift to honor Robert Hale Sr., a Dana-Farber patient who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. In addition to conducting clinical trials and administering standard care to pancreatic cancer patients, oncologists and researchers at the center are working on projects involving germline genetics, functional genomics, chemical biology, computational biology, cancer metabolism, immunotherapy, and laboratory model systems.

The Hale family's contributions to Dana-Farber to date exceed $80 million, and the family's company, Granite Telecommunications, has also contributed millions of dollars to the institute.