David Harrington

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Our research focuses on two main areas: the computational and mathematical issues that arise in the design and analysis of clinical trials, and clinical trials examining the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and lung cancer.


Methodologic research in statistical issues concentrates on mathematical models for efficient design s of multicenter clinical trials of cancer treatment, the analysis of time-to-event data, and the de sign of population-based studies of cancer care. This research examines early-stopping for clinical trials, the analysis of high-dimensional data with event-time endpoints, and analytic methods for po pulation-based methods of cancer care.


Collaborative research in cancer is conducted with investigators at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Cons ortium (CanCORS). CanCORS is a nati onal survey, funded by the National Cancer Institute, to study patterns of care in lung and colorect al cancer, with an emphasis on disparities in care by race, ethnicity, and age. Our department serve s as the Statistical Coordinating Center for CanCORS.



Dr. Harrington received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1976, has been a fac ulty member at DFCI and the Harvard School of Public Health since 1984, and has served as chair of the DFCI Department of Biostatistical Science since 1998. His research focuses on statistical issues that arise in clinical trials, with special focus on lymphoma and lung cancer, and on the delivery of cancer care.


Recent Publications

Loong B, Zaslavsky AM, He Y, Harrington DP. Disclosure control using partiallysynthetic data for large-scale health surveys, with applications to CanCORS. Stat Med. 2013 May 13.


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(3):e57799.


Blinder VS, Norris VW, Peacock NW, Griggs JJ, Harrington DP, Moore A,
Theriault RL, Partridge AH; American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Registry Pilot Steering Group. Patient perspectives on breast cancer treatment plan and summary documents in community oncology care: a pilot program. Cancer. 2013 Jan 1;119(1):164-72.


Catalano PJ, Ayanian JZ, Weeks JC, Kahn KL, Landrum MB, Zaslavsky AM, Lee J, Pendergast J, Harrington DP; Cancer Care Outcomes Research Surveillance Consortium. Representativeness of participants in the cancer care outcomes research and surveillance consortium relative to the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results program. Med Care. 2013 Feb;51(2):e9-15.


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 Sep 20;28(27):4154-61.


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 Feb 1;28(4):620-7.


Soh CH, Harrington DP, Zaslavsky AM. Reducing bias in parameter estimates from stepwise regression in proportional hazards regression with right-censored data.  Lifetime Data Anal. 2008 Mar;14(1):65-85.


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 Mar 17;303(11):1037-45.


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 Aug;14(8):837-48. Epub 2006 Feb 16.


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 Nov;1(6):e65. Epub 2005 Nov 25.


Related Links

Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium - The Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium is an NCI-funded study that 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.