Cancer patients help redesign Dana-Farber’s website

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has launched a newly redesigned website that makes it easier for users to access the latest information on adult and pediatric cancer care, research and clinical trials.

The more functional and user-friendly site welcomes visitors with bold images that depict Dana-Farber’s 63-year-old mission of research and clinical excellence. With more than 4,000 pages of cancer-related content, the site uses a new navigation system to make it easier for users – from patients to survivors to referring physicians – to quickly access the information they seek.

Using a special “Get Started” feature, a user searching for information on breast cancer, for example, would select an age group (adult or pediatric), a cancer type (breast cancer) and a treatment phase (before treatment, in treatment, after treatment). The user is then presented with a “diagnosis dashboard” that pulls relevant content from across the website into one convenient page.

The site also offers similar gateway pages for adult and childhood cancer survivors and for referring physicians.

“Our patients and their families told us that they often felt overwhelmed when they searched health websites, and that they only wanted to see information that was immediately relevant to their type of cancer and their treatment stage,” said Caren Cummings Adams, director of interactive communications at Dana-Farber. “This feedback helped drive our site’s redesign and organizational structure.”

The new site also offers an extensive Health Library, which includes:

  • "How-to" and news videos;
  • "Meet This Doctor" physician video interviews;
  • Teaching Sheets with instructional care information; and
  • Recipes from Dana-Farber nutritionists.

In addition to a database of all clinical trials available at Dana-Farber, the site provides direct access to the National Cancer Institute’s comprehensive cancer information database, PDQ, which provides summaries on a wide range of cancer topics and cancer-related conditions.

“The new website will make it easier for patients, their families, and many others to find critical information, and it will significantly enhance our use of multimedia,” says Steven R. Singer, Dana-Farber’s senior vice president of Communications.

The website was designed and developed in partnership with iFactory, a Boston-based interactive agency, and EKTRON, of Nashua, N.H. iFactory oversaw the site’s overall design, information architecture and navigational structure. EKTRON provided the content management system.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Children’s Hospital Boston as Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding.


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Robbin Ray, 617-632-4090
[email protected]

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