Areas of Work

Our Catchment Area

The efforts of the Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement cover the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Over fifty percent of all cancer patients throughout the state are treated within the DF/HCC partner institutions (Beth Isreal Lahey, Boston Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and programs through the Harvard Schools of Medicine and Public Health.) To this end, we are dedicated to improving access to quality cancer care for patients and communities across the state.

CCEE Catchment Area


For information on how to get involved with our work (both for community members and researchers) visit the Getting Involved page.

Massachusetts Cancer Data

As a state, Massachusetts continues to do well in reducing cancer mortality and incidence compared to the nation as a whole. Massachusetts has the 2nd largest decline in cancer mortality across the United States.

Despite these incredible strides, cancer disparities continue to persist in communities and neighborhoods across the state. Some of the most significant cancer disparities in Massachusetts include breast, prostate, cervical, and uterine cancers, liver cancer, stomach cancer, myeloma, and colorectal cancer. These disparities exist in numerous communities across MA, rural, urban, and significantly within communities of color.

One of the ways that the Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement seeks to monitor the burden of cancer in the state is through the Massachusetts Cancer Data Commonswebsite. The MA  Cancer Data Commons is a web-based resource for researchers and community members to quickly access Massachusetts specific cancer data. Using the MA Cancer Data Commons, you can quickly access cancer data fact sheets specific to different cancers, cities geographic regions, populations, and more.

Visit the Massachusetts Cancer Data Commons website to learn more and access data and resources on cancer in Mass.

Outreach and Engagement

Studying Nation-Wide NCI Cancer Center COE Efforts

The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement (CCEE) under the leadership of Associate Director for COE, Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, and CCEE Program Manager Maria Alaniz, MPH, have finalized a research project in collaboration with The American Society for Preventive Oncology (ASPO), studying Community Outreach and Engagement Activities at National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers with a nation-wide survey of Centers. At its conclusion, they collected data from 51 out of 64 NCI-designated Cancer Centers contacted and have distilled their key findings from this survey into a report that they have made available for review. Please click here to read about the survey and findings that include the demographics and expertise of COE leadership and size of COE efforts across dozens of NCI-designated Cancer Centers.

Current DF/HCC Outreach and Engagement Activities

Across the DF/HCC researchers and programs collaborate with community partners locally and across the state on initiatives to reduce cancer inequity both in prevention and care. Below you can see a list of the programs and partnerships that represent these efforts.

  • Cancer Care Equity Program - A DFCI program led by Dr. Chris Lathan for streamlined diagnosis, treatment, and education of underserved patients with suspected malignancy, in collaboration with Whittier Street Health Center, a community health primary care center located in Roxbury, Mass.
  • ENGAGE Initiative - A collaborative program led by Dr. Kelly Irwin of MGH, that focuses on person-centered, team-based cancer care for patients with schizophrenia and cancer.
  • Faith-Based Cancer Disparities Network - A DF/HCC partnership program led by the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (IECD) . The Network brings together DF/HCC, church congregations, and other health focused organizations to develop, plan, and implement effective cancer prevention programming in faith-communities across Boston.
  • Harvard Catalyst - A Harvard University program focused on developing environments for team science and translational health to catalyze research across all domains.
  • How We Thrive Webinar Series - A webinar series hosted in partnership with Baystate Medical Center's Women's Health Network and CCEE. This series highlights important conversations on health and wellness, particularly for communities of color within the Greater Springfield area. Visit the Events page to learn more.
  • Massachusetts Coalition for HPV/HPV-Related Cancer Prevention - together with Team Maureen, brings together partners from across Massachusetts to increase outreach and awareness around HPV and HPV vaccination and to increase vaccination rates across the state.
  • Patient Navigator Network - A DF/HCC resource for patient navigators across DF/HCC institutions that provides navigators with opportunities to share resources and best practices while supporting one another. Through this program, navigators have worked with both Massachusetts House and Senate bodies to pass new legislation in support of patient navigation.
  • PlanetMassConectThis group works in the Greater Boston and Lawrence areas to build capacity in Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) for using evidence-based programs and strategies for health promotion. 
  • PRECISE - A CCEE community-engaged project, led by Dr. Timothy Rebbeck, which seeks to improve prostate cancer screening disparities for African-American men and men with high prostate cancer risk. The PRECISE study has developed out of community consensus around the urgency of addressing prostate cancer disparities among men of color in Massachusetts.
  • Viswanath Lab - A program led by Dr. Vish Viswanath (HSPH) that focuses on ensuring all sections of society benefit equally from biomedical and communication revolutions through research and training in translational communication.
  • YMCA Roxbury Youth Tobacco Program - An innovative youth peer-to-peer education project on tobacco and vaping prevention in collaboration with Roxbury YMCA and CCEE.

Community Health Education

The Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement is able to provide cancer education and outreach to community groups and organizations across the state via our Community Health Educator. As part of the National Cancer Institute's National Outreach Network, we provide tailored education on the topics of clinical trials and HPV vaccination. If your organization, community group, school or church is interested in having an educational forum on these topics, we are happy to support. Please contact Leslie Agyemfra to learn more.

Access to Clinical Trials

The Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement is committed to improving access and accrual to clinical trials, specifically among underserved and minority communities in Massachusetts.

Our Clinical Trial Initiatives Include:

  • DF/HCC Clinical Trials Task Force
  • Lazarex Foundation
  • CHE Clinical Trials Education and Outreach
  • Cancer Care Equity Program - Increasing Access to Clinical Trials