Photo of David P. Harrington,  PhD

David P. Harrington, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-2450
Fax: (617) 632-2444

David P. Harrington, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Professor, Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
  • Professor, Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Research Abstract

David Harrington is involved in two different lines of research. The first is research in statistical methods for clinical trials and prospective cohort studies in which the time to an event is a primary outcome. He has worked in efficient nonparametric tests and regression methods for right-censored data, sequential designs for clinical trials, and nonparametric methods for estimating nonlinear covariate effects on survival. Recently, he and co-workers in the Department of Biostatistics have been studying methods for analyzing survival data when some covariates have missing observations. Missing data are common in both prospective and retrospective cohort studies, and simply ignoring cases with missing observations can lead to substantial biases in inference.

Dr. Harrington is also involved in collaborative research in cancer. He was the principal investigator of the Statistical Coordinating Center for the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium. This NCI-funded study is a network of sites around the country that are conducting a population based study of access to and outcomes from cancer care, with special focus on ethnic subgroups and subgroups defined by age. Dr. Harrington's primary interest is in hematologic malignancies, and he has worked in that area with Dana-Farber investigators as well. He and Margaret Shipp of the Dana-Farber co-chaired the International non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prognostic Factors Project, a collaboration of United States, Canadian and European treatment centers. This project produced an internationally agreed upon definition of risk factors for early relapse or death in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and those definitions are now being used at many centers to decide which patients should be candidates for intensive chemotherapy, and which should be candidates for more standard approaches. He also works in inference in statistical genetics and longitudinal data.

Dr. Harrington is currently the Acting Chair of the Statistics Department in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University


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  • Karia PS, Jambusaria-Pahlajani A, Harrington DP, Murphy GF, Qureshi AA, Schmults CD. Evaluation of American Joint Committee on Cancer, International Union Against Cancer, and Brigham and Women's Hospital tumor staging for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 2014; 32:327-34. PubMed
  • Loong B, Zaslavsky AM, He Y, Harrington DP. Disclosure control using partially synthetic data for large-scale health surveys, with applications to CanCORS. Stat Med 2013. PubMed
  • Schwede M, Spentzos D, Bentink S, Hofmann O, Haibe-Kains B, Harrington D, Quackenbush J, Culhane AC. Stem Cell-Like Gene Expression in Ovarian Cancer Predicts Type II Subtype and Prognosis. PLoS ONE 2013; 8:e57799. PubMed
  • Blinder VS, Norris VW, Peacock NW, Griggs JJ, Harrington DP, Moore A, Theriault RL, Partridge AH, . Patient perspectives on breast cancer treatment plan and summary documents in community oncology care: a pilot program. Cancer 2012; 119:164-72. PubMed
  • He Y, Zaslavsky A, Landrum M, Harrington D, Catalano P. Multiple imputation in a large-scale complex survey: a practical guide. 2010; 19:653-70. PubMed
  • Ayanian JZ, Zaslavsky AM, Arora NK, Kahn KL, Malin JL, Ganz PA, van Ryn M, Hornbrook MC, Kiefe CI, He Y, Urmie JM, Weeks JC, Harrington DP. Patients' Experiences With Care for Lung Cancer and Colorectal Cancer: Findings From the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28:4154-61. PubMed
  • Kahn KL, Adams JL, Weeks JC, Chrischilles EA, Schrag D, Ayanian JZ, Kiefe CI, Ganz PA, Bhoopalam N, Potosky AL, Harrington DP, Fletcher RH. Adjuvant chemotherapy use and adverse events among older patients with stage III colon cancer. JAMA 2010; 303:1037-45. PubMed
  • Chrischilles EA, Pendergast JF, Kahn KL, Wallace RB, Moga DC, Harrington DP, Kiefe CI, Weeks JC, West DW, Zafar SY, Fletcher RH. Adverse events among the elderly receiving chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol 2010; 28:620-7. PubMed
  • Harrington D, Gail MH. Lifetime data analysis. Editorial. Lifetime Data Analysis 2008; 14:1-5. PubMed
  • Soh CH, Harrington DP, Zaslavsky AM. Reducing bias in parameter estimates from stepwise regression in proportional hazards regression with right-censored data. Lifetime Data Analysis 2008; 14:65-85. PubMed
  • Evans D, Miner T, Iannitti D, Akerman P, Cruff D, Maia-Acuna C, Harrington D, Habr F, Chauhan B, Berkenblit A, Stuart K, Sears D, Kennedy T, Safran H. Docetaxel, capecitabine and carboplatin in metastatic esophagogastric cancer: a phase II study. Cancer Invest 2007; 25:445-8. PubMed
  • Laframboise T, Harrington D, Weir BA. PLASQ: A Generalized Linear Model-Based Procedure to Determine Allelic Dosage in Cancer Cells from SNP Array Data. Biostatistics 2007; 8:323-36. PubMed
  • Malin JL, Ko C, Ayanian JZ, Harrington D, Nerenz DR, Kahn KL, Ganther-Urmie J, Catalano PJ, Zaslavsky AM, Wallace RB, Guadagnoli E, Arora NK, Roudier MD, Ganz PA. Understanding cancer patients' experience and outcomes: development and pilot study of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance patient survey. Support Care Cancer 2006; 14:837-48. PubMed
  • Colla J, Buka S, Harrington DP, Murphy JM. Depression and modernization: a cross-cultural study of women. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2006; 41:271-279.
  • LaFramboise T, Weir BA, Zhao X, Beroukhim R, Li C, Harrington D, Sellers WR, Meyerson M. Allele-specific amplification in cancer revealed by SNP array analysis. PLoS Comput Biol 2005; 1:e65. PubMed
  • Tsai JY, Iannitti D, Berkenblit A, Akerman P, Nadeem A, Rathore R, Harrington D, Roye D, Miner T, Barnett JM, Maia C, Stuart K, Safran H. Phase I study of docetaxel, capecitabine, and carboplatin in metastatic esophagogastric cancer. Am J Clin Oncol 2005; 28:329-33. PubMed
  • Ayanian JZ, Chrischilles EA, Wallace RB, Fletcher RH, Fouad MN, Kiefe CI, Harrington DP, Weeks JC, Kahn KL, Malin JL, Lipscomb J, Potosky AL, Provenzale DT, Sandler RS, Van Ryn M, West DW. Understanding cancer treatment and outcomes: the cancer care outcomes research and surveillance consortium. J Clin Oncol 2004; 22:2992-6. PubMed
  • Joffe S, Harrington DP, George SL, Emanuel EJ, Budzinski LA, Weeks JC. Satisfaction of the uncertainty principle in cancer clinical trials: retrospective cohort analysis. BMJ 2004; 328:1463. PubMed
  • Huang J, Harrington D. Penalized partial likelihood regression for right-censored data with bootstrap selection of the penalty parameter. Biometrics 2002; 58:781-91. PubMed
  • Chen MH, Harrington DP. Bayesian cure rate models for malignant melanoma: a case-study of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial E1690. Journal of Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics) 2002; 51:135-150.
  • Xu R, Harrington DP. A semiparametric estimate of treatment effects with censored data. Biometrics 2001; 57:875-85. PubMed
  • Jones CL, Harrington DP. Omnibus tests of the martingale assumption in the analysis of recurrent failure time data. Lifetime Data Anal 2001; 7:157-71. PubMed
  • Bernardo MV, Harrington DP. Sample size calculations for the two-sample problem using the multiplicative intensity model. Stat Med 2001; 20:557-79. PubMed
  • Harrington DP. The randomized clinical trial Journal of American Statistical Association 2000; 95:312-315.
  • Bernardo MVP, Lipsitz SR, Harrington DP, Catalano PJ. Sample size calculations for failure time random variables in non-randomize studies. The Statistician 2000; 49:31-40.
  • Harrington DP. The tea leaves of small trials. J Clin Oncol 1999; 17:1336-8. PubMed
  • Rogus JJ, Harrington DP, Jorgenson E, Xu X. Effectiveness of extreme discordant sib pairs to detect oligogenic disease loci. Genet Epidemiol 1998; 14:879-84. PubMed
  • Harrington DP, Whittemore AS. Defining, identifying, and studying high-risk families: developing cohorts for epidemiologic study. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 1995. PubMed
  • Lipsitz SR, Laird NM, Harrington DP. Weighted least squares analysis of repeated categorical measurements with outcomes subject to nonresponse. Biometrics 1994; 50:11-24. PubMed
  • Lipsitz SR, Laird NM, Harrington DP. Maximum likelihood regression methods for paired binary data. Stat Med 1990; 9:1517-25. PubMed
  • Lipsitz SR, Harrington DP. Analyzing correlated binary data using SAS. Comput Biomed Res 1990; 23:268-82. PubMed
  • Gilchrist KW, Harrington DP, Wolf BC, Neiman RS. Statistical and empirical evaluation of histopathologic reviews for quality assurance in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Cancer 1988; 62:861-8. PubMed
  • Kalish LA, Harrington DP. Efficiency of balanced treatment allocation for survival analysis. Biometrics 1988; 44:815-21. PubMed
  • O'Connell MJ, Harrington DP, Earle JD, Johnson GJ, Glick JH, Neiman RS, Silverstein MN. Chemotherapy followed by consolidation radiation therapy for the treatment of clinical stage II aggressive histologic type non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer 1988; 61:1754-8. PubMed
  • Cassileth PA, Harrington DP, Hines JD, Oken MM, Mazza JJ, McGlave P, Bennett JM, O'Connell MJ. Maintenance chemotherapy prolongs remission duration in adult acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. J Clin Oncol 1988; 6:583-7. PubMed
  • O'Connell MJ, Harrington DP, Earle JD, Johnson GJ, Glick JH, Carbone PP, Creech RH, Neiman RS, Mann RB, Silverstein MN. Prospectively randomized clinical trial of three intensive chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of advanced unfavorable histology non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol 1987; 5:1329-39. PubMed
  • Ezdinli EZ, Harrington DP, Kucuk O, Silverstein MW, Anderson J, O'Connell MJ. The effect of intensive intermittent maintenance therapy in advanced low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer 1987; 60:156-60. PubMed