The DF/HCC Biostatistics Core is a shared resource supporting consultation on biostatistics related to basic, clinical, and translational cancer research.

Its mission is to:

  • Ensure that experimental designs, study monitoring, and data analyses take advantage of robust, efficient methods that reflect best practices in biostatistics
  • Support peer reviewed (NIH or foundation) grant proposals
  • Assist with planning and analysis of pilot and small scale studies

Key Services

  • Biostatistical consulting in the planning, conduct, analysis, and reporting of:
    • - Clinical trials—the Core consults on and reviews all clinical protocols activated by DF/HCC
    • - Epidemiologic and population-based studies, and studies in somatic genetics and the risk of cancer
    • - Experiments in the biology of cancer, including genomic experiments and laboratory and animal studies
    • - Translational research studies with combined measurements on clinical and biological parameters
  • Advice and support for DF/HCC members’ preparation of grant applications
  • Scientific computing for data analysis and scientific graphics necessary for analyses of epidemiological, clinical, basic science, and genomic studies
  • Advice and consultation to the Quality Assurance Office for Clinical Trials on efficient and accurate database design and management of clinical research data
  • Advice and consultation to the Office for the Protection of Research Risks (OPRS) in the scientific reviews of clinical trials through membership on the various DF/HCC Scientific Review Committees.
  • Education for DF/HCC members in study design, data collection, computerization, and statistical methods for laboratory, clinical, and population-based studies

Work Priorities and Requirements of Users

In general, the priorities for statistical work (from highest to lowest) are:

  • Grant proposal preparation
  • Abstracts for national and international meetings*
  • Clinical protocol design and review
  • Laboratory, animal, and epidemiology study design and review
  • Short term consults
  • Study monitoring, analysis, manuscript preparation, and replies to manuscript reviews
  • Education of users

* Please note that the Core will only work on analysis for an abstract presentation at a national or international meeting if the Core worked on and/or reviewed the abstract submission (before the abstract was submitted).

In order to better manage statistical work on projects with external deadlines, the Biostatistics Core requires that users:

  • Notify the Core at least 6 months before the grant deadline for competing NIH P series, U series, and SPORE grants (and similar sized foundation grants)
  • Notify the Core at least 2 months before the grant deadline for competing NIH R series and K series grants (and similar sized foundation grants)
  • Provide the Core at least 1 month before the deadline with data sets for an analysis for an abstract submission to a national or international meeting (e.g., ASCO, AACR, ASH, ASTRO

In addition, if you will be requiring data from the Office of Data Quality (ODQ), please make sure to provide the required notification to their office. For more information, please see

Publication Acknowledgement

If research supported by this core facility results in publication, please acknowledge this support by including the following in your publication(s):
"We thank Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, MA, for the use of the Biostatistics Core, which provided __________ service. Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center is supported in part by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant # NIH 5 P30 CA06516."