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The severing of ties between two of Boston’s biggest health care giants has placed one of the nation’s largest health care systems in the position of figuring out how, exactly, to fill a new hole in its oncology services, at a time when cancer care is changing rapidly.

Earlier this month, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute surprised the medical community and even its partner, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, when it announced that it would end their nearly 30-year collaboration. The split will take a few years to play out — Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s have a contract into 2028 — but has shaken patients and physicians.


Anne Klibanski, chief executive of Brigham and Women’s parent organization, Mass General Brigham, placed the blame on Dana-Farber executives. The two parties had been in discussions about extending their contract for months when the split was announced. “The decision was made by the Farber. It was announced. Now, we just have to plan forward,” she said. Klibanski shared her views on the split at a meeting with Boston Globe opinion editors on Thursday.

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