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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  • Snavely AC, Harrington DP, Li Y. A latent variable transformation model approach for exploring dysphagia. Stat Med 2014; 33:4337-52. PubMed
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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