Photo of David S. Rosenthal,  MD

David S. Rosenthal, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-3500
Fax: (617) 632-4640

David S. Rosenthal, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Henry K. Oliver Professor of Hygiene, Faculty of arts and sciences, Harvard University
  • Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Active Medical Staff, Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Research Abstract

The Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies (ZCIT) officially opened in November 2000. The mission of the center of which I am the Medical Director is to enhance the quality of life for cancer patients and their families by integrating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into traditional cancer care. The center provides affordable clinical services for both pediatric and adult patients, educates and empowers patients and staff about the use of complementary and alternative medicine, and conducts peer-reviewed research.

The center is named in memory of Leonard P. Zakim, former director of the northeast region of the Anti-Defamation League, who was a staunch supporter and advocate for complementary and alternative therapies during his years as a Dana-Farber patient.

The Zakim Center offers clinical services – such as acupuncture, massage therapy, Reiki, therapeutic touch, mind-body techniques, and nutritional consultations – and integrates them into oncology practice. In the past, opportunities to include such services in traditional medical settings suffered greatly from the lack of validated studies. We believe strongly in the need to ascertain the effectiveness of complementary therapies by conducting high quality peer-reviewed studies through collaborative relationships both at DFCI and throughout the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

The Zakim Center conducts clinical research in several areas. One study seeks to determine the effects of CAM programs such as exercise on the immune system by studying lymphocyte function and cytotoxic cells in patients with stable disease off therapy. This pilot study compares Qi Gong with a modified exercise program in patients with stable forms of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and hematologic malignancies. A second area of interest is evaluating the outcome of various complementary interventions on quality-of-life measures. Current studies explore the use of music therapy in patients with breast cancer and the effectiveness of acupuncture on patients with advanced cancer. Yet another research area is understanding the mechanism of integrative therapies; e.g. if acupuncture spares chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, what is the mechanism of action?

The vision of the Zakim Center is to conduct research in collaboration with DFCI multidisciplinary care centers, the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services, and licensed CAM practitioners and community institutions, such as the New England School of Acupuncture. David Rosenthal, MD, the center’s medical director, is also working with the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and other cancer designated institutions to plan scientific meetings on CAM and cancer. The purpose of these gatherings is to present the best research in integrative therapies


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  • Greenlee H, Zick SM, Rosenthal D, Cohen L, Cassileth B, Tripathy D. Integrative oncology - strong science is needed for better patient care. Nat Rev Cancer 2015; 15:165. PubMed
  • Skinner HD, Sturgis EM, Klopp AH, Ang KK, Rosenthal DI, Garden AS, Morrison WH, Gunn GB, Beadle BM. Clinical characteristics of patients with multiple potentially human papillomavirus-related malignancies. Head Neck 2014; 36:819-25. PubMed
  • Oh B, Kim J, Lu W, Rosenthal D. Anticancer effect of fucoidan in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014; 2014:865375. PubMed
  • Lu W, Rosenthal DS. Acupuncture for cancer pain and related symptoms. Curr Pain Headache Rep 2013; 17:321. PubMed
  • Beard C, Stason WB, Wang Q, Manola J, Dean-Clower E, Dusek JA, Decristofaro S, Webster A, Rosenthal DS, Benson H. Effects of complementary therapies on clinical outcomes in patients being treated with radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Cancer 2010; 117:96-102. PubMed
  • Lu W, Rosenthal DS. Recent advances in oncology acupuncture and safety considerations in practice. Curr Treat Options Oncol 2010; 11:141-6. PubMed
  • Weidong Lu , Posner MR, Wayne P, Rosenthal DS, Haddad RI. Acupuncture for dysphagia after chemoradiation therapy in head and neck cancer: a case series report. Integr Cancer Ther 2010; 9:284-90. PubMed
  • Dean-Clower E, Doherty-Gilman AM, Keshaviah A, Baker F, Kaw C, Lu W, Manola J, Penson RT, Matulonis UA, Rosenthal DS. Acupuncture as Palliative Therapy for Physical Symptoms and Quality of Life for Advanced Cancer Patients. Integr Cancer Ther 2010; 9:158-67. PubMed
  • Moreno MA, Roberts DB, Kupferman ME, DeMonte F, El-Naggar AK, Williams M, Rosenthal DS, Hanna EY. Mucosal melanoma of the nose and paranasal sinuses, a contemporary experience from the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer 2010; 116:2215-23. PubMed
  • Lu W, Ott MJ, Kennedy S, Mathay MB, Doherty-Gilman AM, Dean-Clower E, Hayes CM, Rosenthal DS. Integrative tumor board: a case report and discussion from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Integr Cancer Ther 2009; 8:235-41. PubMed
  • Lu W, Matulonis UA, Doherty-Gilman A, Lee H, Dean-Clower E, Rosulek A, Gibson C, Goodman A, Davis RB, Buring JE, Wayne PM, Rosenthal DS, Penson RT. Acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients with gynecologic malignancies: a pilot randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med 2009; 15:745-53. PubMed
  • Rosenthal DI, Chambers MS, Fuller CD, Rebueno NC, Garcia J, Kies MS, Morrison WH, Ang KK, Garden AS. Beam Path Toxicities to Non-Target Structures During Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for Head And Neck Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2008; 72:747-55. PubMed
  • Lu W,Dean-Clower E,Doherty-Gilman A,Rosenthal DS. The value of acupuncture in cancer care. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2008; 22:631-48, viii. PubMed
  • Li H, Zhu XR, Zhang L, Dong L, Tung S, Ahamad A, Chao KS, Morrison WH, Rosenthal DI, Schwartz DL, Mohan R, Garden AS. Comparison of 2d Radiographic Images and 3d Cone Beam Computed Tomography for Positioning Head-and-Neck Radiotherapy Patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2008; 71:916-25. PubMed
  • Schwartz DL, Rana V, Shaw S, Yazbeck C, Ang KK, Morrison WH, Rosenthal DI, Hoff A, Evans DB, Clayman GL, Garden AS, Sherman SI. Postoperative radiotherapy for advanced medullary thyroid cancer-Local disease control in the modern era. Head Neck 2008; 30:883-8. PubMed
  • Mandal M, Myers JN, Lippman SM, Johnson FM, Williams MD, Rayala S, Ohshiro K, Rosenthal DI, Weber RS, Gallick GE, El-Naggar AK. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition in head and neck squamous carcinoma: association of Src activation with E-cadherin down-regulation, vimentin expression, and aggressive tumor features. Cancer 2008; 112:2088-100. PubMed
  • Dewey FE, Rosenthal D, Murphy DJ Jr, Froelicher VF, Ashley EA. Does size matter? Clinical applications of scaling cardiac size and function for body size. Circulation 2008; 117:2279-87. PubMed
  • Cox CL, Rai SN, Rosenthal D, Phipps S, Hudson MM. Subclinical late cardiac toxicity in childhood cancer survivors: impact on self-reported health. Cancer 2008; 112:1835-44. PubMed
  • Kane GC, Stanson AW, Kalnicka D, Rosenthal DW, Lee CU, Textor SC, Garovic VD. Comparison between gadolinium and iodine contrast for percutaneous intervention in atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis: clinical outcomes. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2008; 23:1233-40. PubMed
  • Haddad F, Hunt SA, Rosenthal DN, Murphy DJ. Right ventricular function in cardiovascular disease, part I: Anatomy, physiology, aging, and functional assessment of the right ventricle. Circulation 2008; 117:1436-48. PubMed
  • Rosenthal DM. Consciousness and its function. Neuropsychologia 2008; 46:829-40. PubMed
  • Hutcheson KA, Barringer DA, Rosenthal DI, May AH, Roberts DB, Lewin JS. Swallowing outcomes after radiotherapy for laryngeal carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008; 134:178-83. PubMed
  • Shankar SM, Marina N, Hudson MM, Hodgson DC, Adams MJ, Landier W, Bhatia S, Meeske K, Chen MH, Kinahan KE, Steinberger J, Rosenthal D. Monitoring for cardiovascular disease in survivors of childhood cancer: report from the Cardiovascular Disease Task Force of the Children's Oncology Group. Pediatrics 2008; 121:e387-96. PubMed
  • Malaisrie SC, Pelletier MP, Yun JJ, Sharma K, Timek TA, Rosenthal DN, Wright GE, Robbins RC, Reitz BA. Pneumatic paracorporeal ventricular assist device in infants and children: initial Stanford experience. J Heart Lung Transplant 2008; 27:173-7. PubMed
  • Petsuksiri J, Frank SJ, Garden AS, Ang KK, Morrison WH, Chao KS, Rosenthal DI, Schwartz DL, Ahamad A, Esmaeli B. Outcomes after radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the eyelid. Cancer 2007; 112:111-8. PubMed
  • Rosenthal DA, Layman EJ. Utilization of information technology in eastern North Carolina physician practices: determining the existence of a digital divide. Perspect Health Inf Manag 2008; 5:3. PubMed
  • Lupinetti AD, Roberts DB, Williams MD, Kupferman ME, Rosenthal DI, Demonte F, El-Naggar A, Weber RS, Hanna EY. Sinonasal adenoid cystic carcinoma: the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center experience. Cancer 2007; 110:2726-31. PubMed
  • O'Daniel JC, Garden AS, Schwartz DL, Wang H, Ang KK, Ahamad A, Rosenthal DI, Morrison WH, Asper JA, Zhang L, Tung SM, Mohan R, Dong L. Parotid gland dose in intensity-modulated radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: is what you plan what you get? Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2007; 69:1290-6. PubMed
  • Williams MD, Roberts D, Blumenschein GR Jr, Temam S, Kies MS, Rosenthal DI, Weber RS, El-Naggar AK. Differential expression of hormonal and growth factor receptors in salivary duct carcinomas: biologic significance and potential role in therapeutic stratification of patients. Am J Surg Pathol 2007; 31:1645-52. PubMed
  • Rosenthal DI. Consequences of mucositis-induced treatment breaks and dose reductions on head and neck cancer treatment outcomes. J Support Oncol 2007; 5:23-31. PubMed
  • Shaddy RE, Boucek MM, Hsu DT, Boucek RJ, Canter CE, Mahony L, Ross RD, Pahl E, Blume ED, Dodd DA, Rosenthal DN, Burr J, LaSalle B, Holubkov R, Lukas MA, Tani LY. Carvedilol for children and adolescents with heart failure: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2007; 298:1171-9. PubMed
  • Cmelak AJ, Li S, Goldwasser MA, Murphy B, Cannon M, Pinto H, Rosenthal DI, Gillison M, Forastiere AA. Phase II trial of chemoradiation for organ preservation in resectable stage III or IV squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx or oropharynx: results of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study E2399. J Clin Oncol 2007; 25:3971-7. PubMed
  • Fletcher RH, Colditz GA, Pawlson LG, Richman H, Rosenthal D, Salber PR. Screening for colorectal cancer: the business case. Am J Manag Care 2002; 8:531-8. PubMed
  • Marcus KC, Kalish LA, Coleman CN, Shulman LN, Rosenthal DS, Canellos GP, Mauch PM. Improved survival in patients with limited stage IIIA Hodgkin's disease treated with combined radiation therapy and chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol 1994; 12:2567-72. PubMed
  • Uematsu M, Tarbell NJ, Silver B, Coleman CN, Rosenthal DS, Shulman LN, Canellos G, Weinstein H, Mauch P. Wide-field radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy for patients with Hodgkin disease in relapse after initial combination chemotherapy. Cancer 1993; 72:207-12. PubMed
  • Healey EA, Tarbell NJ, Kalish LA, Silver B, Rosenthal DS, Marcus K, Shulman LN, Coleman CN, Canellos G, Weinstein H. Prognostic factors for patients with Hodgkin disease in first relapse. Cancer 1993; 71:2613-20. PubMed
  • Mitus AJ, Barbui T, Shulman LN, Rosenthal DS, Viero P, Cortelazzo S, Schafer AI. Hemostatic complications in young patients with essential thrombocythemia. Am J Med 1990; 88:371-5. PubMed