Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with Dr. Eric Winer at Helm Receives $20M Gift—A Special Researcher will Ensure it is Spent Wisely

Jun 22, 2019 | Breast Cancer, Dana Farber, Investigator Content, News, Winer, Eric MD Content

Grant Money Gift

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has received a $20 million gift from the Saverin Family will establish the Saverin Breast Cancer Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The initiative will be led by Eric Winer, MD. The sole purpose of this gift is to support research relating to treatment and eventual cures of advanced or stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread outside the breast and to other parts of the body, such as the bones, brain, liver, or lungs. It is treatable but currently an incurable form of breast cancer.

Eric Winer’s brand is big. Many titles aside, he was personally diagnosed with hemophilia as a boy. The introduction of synthetic factor VIII in 1969 as he was an early teen undoubtedly was transformative and must have left an impression of the power of science and medicine. A medical oncologist and world-renowned researcher focusing in on breast cancer, he is widely known as a dedicated physician.

Dr. Winer commented, “The Saverin Family’s foresight will allow us to tackle the unsolved challenges by building on the advances we have already forged, and to develop entirely new strategies.” He continued in the Dana-Farber press release “Their exceptional generosity provides resources we need to further metastatic breast cancer research that is underway, and, more importantly, to open bold avenues of investigation.”

It is the bold avenues of investigation that make the Winer and Saverin pairing exciting. We need to keep pushing when it comes to breast cancer. It takes far too many moms.

Eric Winer Research

Dr. Winer has conducted a number of clinical trials covering a range of breast cancer therapy approaches. He spent over a decade the co-chair of the CAL GB/Alliance Breast Cancer Committee. His current research group at Dana-Farber focuses on improving care through the development of a new treatment approach. An open-minded, intelligent and pragmatic, Winer has been an advocate of de-escalation therapy when it is apparent that patients can do just a well with less treatment.

Novel Agents and Targeted Specific Pathways

Their group investigates novel agents that target specific pathways within cancer cells and the surrounding tissue. Winer has been active incorporating translational research endpoints in the vast majority of the Dan-Farber clinical trials to obtain a greater understanding of molecular elements and factors which that could elucidate mechanisms of action and predictors of treatment effect.

Breast Cancer Biobank

Consequently, the team under Winer’s guidance have developed a robust breast cancer-focused biobank: a sizeable bank of tumor and serum specimens, which are linked to detailed clinical data for each patient who has received longitudinal care in the program.

Winer and team will expand upon this effort in the metastatic setting and collect serial biopsies over time to better understand molecular differences between primary and metastatic tumors—and the resistance mechanisms that develop over the course of the disease.

Psychosocial Well-Being

The team is committed to continuous study of how to improve the psychosocial functioning of women with early-stage and advanced breast cancer. Taking a whole-person approach, Winer-led studies investigate how to make the patient’s life better. For example, one recent study was designed to better understand the experience of women newly diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ; another study was designed with a goal of examining the social, health and emotional issues facing breast cancer survivors.

Many Awards

With a patient-focus, he has won countless awards most recently the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2017.

Research Takes Capital

We thought it would be important to mention the Saverin Breast Cancer Research Fund. TrialSite News looked into Saverin Breast Cancer Research fund and there is little information. We suspect that the funds derive from Eduardo Saverin (Facebook), but we are not certain.


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