Cancer Commons Community Member Spotlight: Brit d’Arbeloff


One of Cancer Commons’ earliest and most generous supporters, Brit d’Arbeloff, is a woman of many talents who is dedicated to excellence in education. She is the first woman to earn an undergraduate mechanical engineering degree at Stanford University. In addition, she was the owner of a fashion boutique in Boston for over a decade. She also earned a graduate degree at MIT, where Marty Tenenbaum, founder and CEO of Cancer Commons, is also an alum, and where the two first met.

“The work being done by Cancer Commons is extremely important,” says Brit, whose late husband Alex was diagnosed with glioblastoma. “Cancer is not one disease but a multitude of them, and the number of treatment options using various combinations of drugs and therapies is increasing rapidly. The result is a data problem that Cancer Commons is uniquely prepared to solve with its highly qualified and experienced team of computer scientists and cancer experts.”

Raised in Chicago, Mrs. d’Arbeloff’s father, Ivar Jepson, held over 500 patents, including one for the original Mixmaster. After attending Stanford, she moved to Boston and met her future husband at a party. Within a few months, they were married. Eventually they had four children. Alex was also an MIT graduate who was founder and CEO of Teledyne Inc. He loved MIT and was very active as an alumni volunteer in a leadership role. Brit was also an active alumna and served as the chair of the Arts Council at MIT.

“One of the key reasons why I support Cancer Commons is because they use the internet to reduce the disparities among physician cancer treatment knowledge by having a patient-centric approach,” Brit says. “This allows patients and their loved ones all over the world to find relevant treatment information and suggest options for their physicians to consider. Even within the best of hospitals, disparities exist between physicians. Cancer Commons is well on its way to providing patients and medical professionals with access to a knowledge base that will share data that will improve patients’ quality of life.”

Everyone at Cancer Commons is grateful for Brit’s sage advice and heartfelt support. We hope that readers will be inspired by her desire to educate patients on the best treatment options and join the Cancer Commons family by contributing to better options for all.

Click here to donate now.