WEEI>On Demand>>D&C - Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber

D&C - Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Dr. Benz will step down after 16 years as Dana-Farber's president and CEO in October, however, he will continue to do research in his lab. Dr. Laurie Glimcher has been named the new president and CEO of Dana-Farber. Over the past 16 years, Dana-Farber has enjoyed numerous accomplishments. Under Dr. Benz’s extraordinary leadership, Dana-Farber has: Tripled in size, with a broadened research agenda and the opening of several off-campus satellite facilities; Completely revitalized its Longwood Campus ensuring the infrastructure necessary to advance ground-breaking research and patient care initiatives now and into the future, including: opened Yawkey Center for Cancer Care (2011), made extensive improvements to the Dana Building, expanded Jimmy Fund Clinic and the new Longwood Center for research (2015); Named the top-ranked cancer hospital in New England by U.S. News and World Report for 16 consecutive years, and is the only cancer center in the country ranked in the top 4 for both adult and pediatric cancer programs; Expanded into area suburbs and developed partnerships with community clinics, delivering cancer screenings and support to traditionally underserved areas; Maintained its unique 50/50 balance of research and patient care and commitment to the signature “total patient care” philosophy envisioned by founder Dr. Sidney Farber that continues to make Dana-Farber a special place today.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

It would not be a WEEI a mess and Jimmy Fund radio telethon without the presence and our conversation on our visit. With doctor Edward Benz junior the president and Chief Executive Officer to Dana Farber. I think the drop in the batting order generally you're on the first day in early on Hillary are you like batting sixth number seven the hack in the final. I must have been in Islam a that on that day attitude now they got to battle I don't order we're glad to see you again doctor Ben Gloria I'm great how you are short timer. That's right I've got that 31 days not to your counting that that an account so you are you used the 31 days. Now I've been stepped down as CEO last Soviet professor pocket medical school and go back and have this to have a small asserts lab all right more time and that. Do some teaching and mentoring and if you patients in constant. Will you still have the clout when you walked to the silly that they at the lower their heads and and and involve a little bit when you walk through. Played I have my retirement party Jack Connors said I'll be forgotten but not gone up and I'm just look at the parking space which is the most important and spent the day I live right deal works. So it doesn't bother me about the market. I reflect if you would on the last 1516 years since we've been doing this and certainly under the auspices of other Dana Farber and and your leadership. Where we work and where we are now. Yeah you know I got to Dana Farber in the year 2000. Most patients around the world including the Dana Farber. We still getting treated with the most sophisticated. Combinations. Of. Traditional drugs to the cause traditional chemotherapy the things that people call. Carpet bombing judge you know him within very high though toxicity they work in some patients but not too many things down. And they had these tremendous side effects. Now this has substantial number of our patients. Are getting treated with two kinds of therapies that we can only dream about when I got there wanna these targeted therapies where you. Sequence that tumors DNA and find their vulnerabilities that you find a drug that targets that specific vulnerability. And dad go after was much more precision Madison approach. And the second one this common the last 45 years that we're really really excited about. Are these new drugs that turned immune system back on to go fight the tumors. With your own immune system they. Cancers. Trick the immune system into allowing them to stay there and we've begun to find out what how their tricks work. We've begun to find drugs that get around that. And I think the next exciting thing. If I were to come back here five years be telling you we use those in combination now are getting much much longer serve rivals those combination. Approaches are just going into clinical trials as we speak. Yeah you're you're OC goal is to make and he what a chronic affliction like. Epilepsy yourself we just take a drug premier yours your lifestyle quality of life remains could mean that. Now what's that like to cure it never be total that are not total that's tailor some patients us reasonable goal that for a lot of patience is probably going to be more likely it's such as you say. A disease we can manage right and a disease you can live with and live well as with agents that we used to treated. That. Well tolerated so you know it the way of living that life. Is it hard to have a job were progresses. It seems like it's jobs you can 1516 years but it seems like sometimes I'm sure to be incredibly slow them must be frustrating no. Yet you know this is they have to go into this effort along game. So long season. And I down. It can be frustrating at times I think one of the nice things about the last fifteen years that I scenes. The time for when someone makes an observation laboratory. And insight. To actually seeing a drug ready to go into patients in a clinical trials has gotten a lot shorter. And that's a big help because until you. Port. A an agent. Into into to work in patients who really don't know how it's going to work sure. And the other thing we keep finding now as we would we may be frustrated as not working in this form of cancer. But we find out with these new ways of analyzing tumors that made it work in another way. So it's frustrated that we you have it great moment. Doctor Bennett beside the two things that you just described to us eloquently about targeted drugs with the with the patience and turning on the immune system to fight. If I want it take you back sixteen years when you walked. Through that or for the first time. Is there one thing in particular bit of somebody had said to you in the year 2000 in the year 2016. This will be your reality what you think would be the most shocking thing to happen. The party abides about how you line is. If you had told me that one of the cancers that we could now tree at least as a substantial minority of patients. And get long term remission it's. Let's lung cancer didn't I would have said. Yet you make of that no chance and he had no chance you know somebody's always asking predict which cancers are going to be the first to follow with these new methods. I generally against lung cancer. And the other one. Is malignant melanoma you know after its spread not affixed to something and take out surgically. Where these new immune therapies are having a tremendous effect that that you couldn't knock my socks up if you told me that. I'm good for one stupid question for interview and this probably is it why does cancer happen. Not a stupid question and if you wanna keep me here electric and a full list of it basically. It happens because the genes that we need to do for ourselves to function and keep us going keep us alive. And control the things like how we. Repair wooten who sells that have to grow and we need them. Those genes suffered damage in their DNA in those. I called mutations. And knows it takes to start to cause cells to grow and we don't want them to and whether you'd look at cancers being caused by. By us all over exposed in the sun by smoking. By exposure to chemicals. Just by aging who. All those that causes ultimately end up damaging that the and it ourselves since the damaged DNA. The crisis out of this behavior that we changed that. We changed the. Senator instructions by house cells live they begin to live in property and that's cancer 31 days to go who is your successor has he been named. She's been changing our lives are like glimcher is my successor she's. They issued her time as the unit or now. Fabulous individual. Great scientists. Actually her field is the immunology and cancer immunotherapy. So she's a very happy now the other hand this over in great hands. And so that's hippie of their look out the window right now. Can see that long had freaky look and it got a cigarette smoke. Yeah when you see that you wanted to strangle do you do you ever get you know that's counterproductive chip wrangling is counterproductive. Preachy as well. You know what you do when you dummy. I don't wanna strangle him that was a smoker once myself and really how hard it is to let but I like the ripped a cigarette out of his hand right now and say. You know I just I just kept you alive for two Korea is amazing how quickly change on the when you can somebody like that you stare at the stands out at genocide you know what you don't see a lot of like 7580 rolls true smokers what was that the attack Iraq they aren't yet to be seventy got through it says doctor. Ben's thanks very much always a pleasure seeing you here at the Jimmy Fund down nest and WB yeah I tell on enjoy your retirement aside all the things you're still gonna have your fingers and fly fishing serve boarding what he gonna do. Those of the new things army that they've got it McBride I always wonder like hey we beat doctor's famous. Surgeons in the in the father's truck drivers or something like you got it in reverse and you. You've got to be really disappointed yours on your. Pride and joy. Talk show host bill I feel good when you're part is hiring jab at your cocktail parties would you do until it was an accountant or something when he Elan in Pittsburgh I go to cocktail parties and assisted dead now. Good to see a doctor Ben thanks very much a tank to get pregnant you don't enjoy your retirement and doing the.

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