Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will create the Chen-Huang Center for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers to stimulate research, promote clinical trials, and strengthen the Institute’s capabilities for studying and treating lung cancer. The Chen-Huang Center is being established with a $5 million gift from Winston Chen, PhD, and his wife, Phyllis Huang, of Silicon Valley.
For many years, the couple’s family foundation, the Paramitas Foundation, had focused on supporting higher education. Their recent funding has shifted to health-care projects, specifically lung cancer care and research, led by Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, Director of the Carole M. and Philip L. Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology and Director of the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber.
Dr. Jänne will also use this gift to establish the Chen-Huang EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers Endowed Fund, the Chen-Huang EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers Fund, and the Chen-Huang EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancers Endowed Lecture. In addition, the gift will provide support for capital projects and strategic initiatives at Dana-Farber.
Lung Cancer Research at Dana-Farber
The Chen-Huang Center will advance care and research through the seamless integration of preclinical, translational, and clinical research, including:
Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD
Dr. Jänne and other investigators at Dana-Farber discovered that a subset of lung cancers exhibited mutations in the EGFR gene in 2004. These mutations were predictive of the clinical efficacy of EGFR kinase inhibitors. This discovery was one of the first examples of precision medicine for lung cancer and helped catalyze the entire field of precision medicine for patients with lung cancer.
Following the discovery, Dana-Farber was the first center in the United States to begin routine clinical testing for EGFR mutations, which is now the standard of care worldwide. EGFR inhibitors are now used as the initial systemic therapy (instead of chemotherapy) for newly diagnosed patients with advanced EGFR-mutant lung cancers. ■