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On the Southeast Expressway, at the edge of the city, two billboards advertising cancer care loomed on the side of the road — one advertising Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the other touting the work of Mass General Cancer Center.

The advertisements, posted in January, were rare public evidence of the increasingly awkward relationship between two of the region’s most prominent cancer programs. Dana-Farber provides care in partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which has the same parent company as Mass General.


Not only had that corporate relationship produced competing billboards, it had also spurred competing visions. And by September, those festering differences led to an apparently permanent split. Dana-Farber announced it would break with the Brigham to partner with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — a deal with huge implications for cancer care in Boston.

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