General interest
Nurse Practitioners and Doctors: How They Work Together in Cancer Care

A cancer care team is made up of several health professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners. So how are these two important components of a care team different, and how do they work together? There are many different types of doctors that work on a typical cancer care team. At […]

February 1, 2018
Adult , CAR T-cell therapy , Lymphomas
What is Refractory Cancer and How Is It Treated?

The word “refractory” in general use means stubborn or intractable, and in medicine it is specifically applied to disease that does not respond to treatment. Refractory cancer refers to cancer that may be resistant at the beginning of treatment, or becomes resistant during treatment. “We would consider disease refractory if […]

January 31, 2018
Stem cell/Bone marrow transplant , Stem cell/Bone marrow transplant, childhood
Stem Cell Transplants for Pediatric Patients: What to Know

Stem cell transplantation, otherwise known as bone marrow transplantation, is the infusion of healthy stem cells into the body to stimulate new bone marrow growth. Stem cells are vital to a person’s ability to fight infection, and stem cell transplants are performed on children whose stem cells have been damaged by […]

January 30, 2018
Breast cancer , Cancer Genetics
Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer: What You Should Know

Many factors contribute to increased breast cancer risk for some women — including certain inherited genes. About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they are the direct result of gene mutations passed on from a parent. Genes are individual units of […]

January 29, 2018
What is the Future of Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a kind of treatment that has had stunning results in some patients with cancers like melanoma, lymphoma, and kidney cancer. Immunotherapy drugs empower the body’s immune system by enabling the body to fight cancer — an approach that can slow or halt cancer in certain patients. In our […]

January 26, 2018
Acute lymphoblastic - ALL , Blood disorders , Cancer research , Lymphomas , Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy: What Does “Chimeric” Mean?

One of the most exciting new cancer treatments, CAR T-cell therapy takes its complicated name, in part, from a fire-breathing monster in an ancient Greek myth. CAR is an acronym for “chimeric antigen receptor,” referring to genetically engineered molecules manufactured in a laboratory, inserted into the genetic material of immune […]

January 25, 2018
Breast cancer
Fighting for My Young Wife With Breast Cancer: A Husband’s Story

By Patrick Martin I’ll never forget our first appointment at Dana-Farber — less than 24 hours after my wife, Meghan, heard the harsh news that she had stage IV breast cancer. I can remember the shoes I wore, because I was staring down at them in the waiting room. I […]

January 24, 2018
Integrative Therapies , Patient Stories, Adult
Writer Puts Her Cancer Experiences Into Poetry

Carol Snyder Halberstadt has been chronicling her life through poetry since she was 5, a means of self-expression she credits as the springboard to a long writing and editing career. When she was diagnosed in the past decade with lung cancer and then lymphoma, putting this part of her personal […]

January 23, 2018
Breast cancer , Cancer research , General interest
Soy and Breast Cancer: Is There a Connection?

Is there a link between soy and an increased risk of breast cancer? “That’s one of the most common questions I get from breast cancer survivors,” says Wendy Chen, MD, MPH, a breast oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. While laboratory studies on soy […]

January 22, 2018
General interest
Cancer Treatment Scams: How to Spot Them

A friend or loved one’s cancer diagnosis can spark a flurry of web searches for more information about the disease and the latest treatment options. And while the internet can be a useful research tool, the web can also be home to bogus claims about cancer treatments, scams, and unproven […]

January 19, 2018
“It Takes a Team to Tackle Cancer” – A Coach’s Perspective

By Tom Coughlin When a parent hears the gut-wrenching words, “Your child has cancer,” their only thoughts are for the child and how they can get well. Financial concerns are usually not on anyone’s radar. But financial toxicity, as it has been termed, is a reality — especially for approximately […]

January 18, 2018
Ovarian cancer
Living with Ovarian Cancer as a Chronic Disease, and Celebrating Milestones

Whenever Joan Janssen meets fellow ovarian cancer patients, she shares words of wisdom that she’s gained from seven years of living with the disease. “This is a recurring disease; don’t be stunned if it comes back,” she tells them. “You fought it the first time. You can do it even […]

January 17, 2018
Coping with Cancer , General interest , Health Topics , Palliative Care
What Happens When I Wear a Cooling Cap?

Scalp cooling is a treatment aimed at preventing or reducing hair loss during chemotherapy. It involves placing a tight, cooled cap on the head before, during, and after each infusion. The cooling cap is attached to a machine that circulates a liquid coolant through the cap. This cooling process reduces […]

January 16, 2018
Blood disorders, childhood , CAR T-cell therapy , Childhood , Research
How Gene Therapy Works in Treating Cancer and Other Conditions

There are many types of gene therapy, but all of them involve adding to or modifying the genetic program in a person – his or her DNA blueprint that provides instructions for building and operating the body. Gene therapy technology has been developed over several decades and has been successfully […]

January 15, 2018
Immunotherapy , Precision Cancer Medicine
Precision Medicine and Immunotherapy for Cancer: What to Know

Precision medicine and immunotherapy are changing the landscape of cancer treatment. The aim of precision medicine, sometimes called personalized medicine, is to match treatments to individual patients taking into account their genetic makeup, medical history, test results, and other distinctive characteristics. Unlike precision medicine, immunotherapy is a particular form of treatment, […]

January 12, 2018
General interest
What is a Radiosensitizer and How Is It Used in Radiation Therapy?

A radiosensitizer, or a radiosensitizing agent, is a drug that makes cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors by disrupting the DNA of cancer cells, causing them to die. Radiosensitizers can be drugs that kill or inhibit growth of cancer cells, like […]

January 11, 2018
Epigenetics: How It Works And What It Means for Cancer Research

As scientists map ever more of the epigenetic disruptions that occur in cancer, the implications for cancer therapy are becoming increasingly evident.

January 10, 2018
Lymphomas , Neuro-oncology
What is CNS Lymphoma and How is it Treated?

What is CNS lymphoma? Central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is an extremely rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that involves the brain and spinal cord, the primary components of your body’s central nervous system. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in lymphocytes, infection-fighting white blood cells that make […]

January 9, 2018
Childhood , Neuroblastoma, childhood
Taking A Sideswipe at High-Risk Neuroblastoma

This originally appeared on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s blog. Cancer and other diseases are now understood to spring from a complex interplay of biological factors rather than any one isolated origin. New research reveals that an equally-nuanced approach to treating high-risk neuroblastoma may be the most effective way to curb […]

January 8, 2018
Brain tumors , Patient Stories, Adult , Primary CNS lymphoma
Brain Cancer Survivor Shares Wisdom and Humor in Book

On what was supposed to be a memorable night for all the right reasons, things suddenly went terribly wrong for Marie Fricker. Arriving at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the birth of her first grandchild, she began experiencing dueling discomforts that rooted her to a bench in the front lobby: […]

January 5, 2018

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Patient and Family Blogs

Patients and families of patients at Dana-Farber often chronicle their own experiences with cancer.

Here are some blogs that you can follow.