Care for children
New Treatment Protocol Boosts Survival in Pediatric Neuroblastoma Patients

When Emily Coughlin complained of a sore knee in May 2009, doctors initially suspected Lyme disease. After antibiotics failed to relieve the pain, the girl, who was just shy of her fourth birthday, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that begins in nerve cells outside the brain and usually affects […]

August 9, 2016
1
Care for adults
Young Adult Finds Ways to Discuss Death

By Tara Baysol I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 at the age of 27. Just prior to my diagnosis, I had started a new, exciting chapter as a Yale graduate student. My self-confidence was at an all-time high as I had survived my chaotic early 20s and was […]

August 8, 2016
0
Podcasts
Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #11: Advances in Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment

Perhaps more than any other childhood cancer, pediatric brain tumor treatment is incredibly complex and takes a team effort to care for a patient. Doctors and researchers are working to not only improve medicines and treatment methods, they are also striving to improve quality of life and long-term side effects […]

June 10, 2016
0
Care for children
After Finishing Brain Tumor Treatment, High School Senior Graduates

The first semester of senior year is usually challenging for high school students, but Jake DeCarolis faced an additional hurdle in September 2015 when what he thought was a headache turned out to be a brain tumor. For the next six months, DeCarolis juggled homework and college applications around surgery […]

June 6, 2016
2
Care for adults
What Is the Blood-Brain Barrier and How Does it Affect Brain Tumor Treatment?

The blood-brain barrier surrounds the brain and prevents harmful toxins and bacteria in the blood stream from entering the vital organ. What evolved as a life-saving defense, however, also blocks many drugs from reaching the brain, creating a major problem in treating brain tumors. The blood-brain barrier is formed by […]

May 30, 2016
0
Care for children
Coping with a Pediatric Brain Tumor Diagnosis: Tips for Families

Childhood cancer is never easy for a family, and pediatric brain tumors can present a particularly difficult set of medical, cognitive, and physical challenges. Patients may face hearing and vision loss, seizures, learning disabilities, and more. Long after the disease is gone, these issues – and related emotional and social […]

May 25, 2016
2
Care for adults
The Latest Research and Treatment for Adult Brain Tumors

Historically, brain tumors have been some of the most challenging types of cancers. A protective barrier around the brain—called the “blood-brain barrier”—can prevent cancer treatments from reaching the tumor. Recently, increased interest in immunotherapy has given new hope to getting through this barrier. “We know the immune system can get […]

March 10, 2016
0
Cancer research , Care for children
In Precision Medicine, Pioneering Young Patient Teaches Veteran Doctor

Allison Schablein seems an unlikely candidate to teach medicine to Mark Kieran. She’s an 8–year-old New Hampshire second grader who loves basketball, hip hop, acrobatic dancing and jewelry. He’s a pediatric neuro-oncologist with a PhD in molecular biology, not to mention decades of clinical and research experience. But teach Kieran, […]

January 28, 2016
0
Care for children
One Year After Brain Tumor Surgery, 10-Year-Old Celebrates with Holiday Concert

A year ago, Aimee Fellows couldn’t imagine being back at Boston Children’s Hospital, awaiting the start of another violin concert featuring her daughter. Sophie, now 10 years old, is dressed this time in a frilly white blouse, black skirt and black dress shoes, her first pair of heels, albeit little […]

December 16, 2015
2
Care for adults
From Pediatric to Young Adult Patient: The Importance of Advocating for Yourself

By Jeremy Pivor I have been living with cancer for half my life: first as a 12-year-old boy, and now as a 24-year-old young adult. In the 12 years since I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I have been cared for at Dana-Farber, where I am currently receiving treatment […]

September 23, 2015
2
Care for children
What Is AT/RT Cancer?

An atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a very rare and fast-growing tumor of the central nervous system. AT/RT is part of a larger group of malignant tumors called rhabdoid tumors, which are found outside the brain, in the kidneys, liver and other locations. AT/RT is most commonly found in the […]

August 6, 2015
0
Cancer research , Care for children
What’s New in Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment?

As one of the most difficult cancers to treat, childhood brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under age 10. However, researchers are making more progress than ever before. “Over the last 10 years there has been a lot of excitement about new treatments for pediatric […]

July 2, 2015
3
Cancer research
Immunotherapy, Targeted Drugs, Brain Cancer Research Among Highlights at Cancer Meeting

Eagerly awaited new data from trials of immunotherapy drugs, vaccines to treat brain tumors, and improved treatments for blood cancers sparked waves of optimism at the year’s biggest cancer meeting. The 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) drew about 30,000 cancer specialists to Chicago May […]

June 5, 2015
0
Care for adults , Care for children
What Are the Differences Between Adult and Childhood Brain Tumors?

Brain tumors are relatively rare for people of any age, but they can occur in both children and adults. In fact, tumors of the spinal cord and brain are the second most common types of cancer in children, after leukemia. But there are some key differences between brain tumors that […]

May 22, 2015
2
Cancer research
New Research Brings Better Understanding of Brain Tumors, Treatment Advances

Brain cancer takes a variety of forms – and research to better understand and treat it is progressing on a variety of fronts. One area of focus is the tumor microenvironment the skein of tissues and blood vessels that feed and support a tumor. Researchers are exploring how newly formed […]

May 15, 2015
0
Cancer research
Patient Turned Researcher Helps Advance Understanding of Brain Tumors

This post originally appeared on HealthHub, a blog from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Interested in seeing images of his brain, Steven Keating, currently a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, volunteered for a research study while attending school in Canada in 2007. When researchers returned his brain scans, they […]

May 7, 2015
0
Cancer research
From Foe to Friend: Viruses Show New Promise as Cancer Treatment

Updated Oct. 28, 2015 Almost as long as scientists have known of the existence of viruses, they’ve dreamed of using the tiny pathogens as a weapon against cancer. Now, as a result of advances in genetic engineering and insights into the workings of the immune system, science is giving substance […]

May 1, 2015
0
Cancer research
Discovering New Ways to Approach the Treatment of Rare Brain Tumors

Until a few years ago, there were only a handful of known survivors of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare cancer that affects the brain and central nervous system. When researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center studied how these few survivors were treated, they found three […]

February 9, 2015
0
Cancer research , Care for adults
Collaborative Effort Helps Develop More Effective Treatment for Brain Tumors

The information used in diagnosing a brain tumor takes many forms. At Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), patients’ brain tumor tissue undergoes a broad range of diagnostic tests: not only standard pathology exams in which tumor cells are viewed under a microscope, but also next-generation scans for mutated genes […]

February 4, 2015
0
Cancer research
New Immunotherapy Vaccines Show Promise in Treating Brain Tumors

Researchers in Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology are now launching attacks on glioblastomas from a new angle – by turning the patient’s immune system against the cancer cells. Where targeted chemotherapy uses drugs to disable proteins that cancer cells need to grow, immunotherapy drugs stimulate the patient’s immune system to recognize and […]

January 19, 2015
0
Care for children
New Year Brings New Hope for Young Violinist with Brain Tumor

On December 5, just after the students of Carolyn Bever’s Violin Studio finish playing “The First Noel” for the residents of the Pines Senior Living Community in South Burlington, Vermont, 9-year-old Sophie Fellows quietly leaves the stage because of a headache. The next day she is diagnosed with a brain […]

January 7, 2015
0
Care for adults , Care for children
Brain Tumor Survivor Shares Her Tips on the College Transition

By Frannie Palmer As a kid, I stumbled on my feet quite a bit. I had to use two hands on the railing while going down stairs. My parents thought I was just a little clumsy. The truth was, a brain tumor was creating pressure on my cerebellum and causing […]

October 10, 2014
1
Care for adults
New Surgery Technique Expands Treatment Options for Brain Tumor Patients

For many patients with brain tumors or other abnormal tissue located deep in the brain, treatment options have been limited. Last year, Jill Colter, now 50, discovered that a brain tumor resulting from Stage IV melanoma had returned. “Several years earlier, I had treatment with surgery and radiation, but the […]

September 1, 2014
0
Care for adults
Five Things You Need to Know About Glioblastomas

Glioblastomas are the most common primary cancer of the brain, with 13,000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the United States. Although it is a fast-moving cancer, doctors know a lot about this type of tumor and are finding ways to fight it. Here are five things you need […]

August 11, 2014
0
Care for adults
What is a Meningioma?

A meningioma is a type of tumor that develops from the meninges, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas (90 percent) are categorized as benign tumors, with the remaining 10 percent being atypical or malignant. In many cases, benign meningiomas grow slowly. This means that depending […]

May 30, 2014
0
Cancer research , Care for children
New Research Shows Promise for Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment

Every year, about 4,700 children in the United States are diagnosed with brain cancer –­ making it the most common solid tumor in children. It is also one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under age 10 and […]

May 19, 2014
0
Cancer research , Care for adults
Ask the Expert: Questions and Answers about Brain Tumors

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently partnered with CancerConnect and Lakshmi Nayak, MD, to answer questions about brain cancer. Nayak is a neuro-oncologist in the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.  Q: There seems to be some progress concerning treatment […]

October 14, 2013
7
Cancer research
Avastin Helps Patients with Glioblastomas, Doctors Say

The drug Avastin, when added to initial therapy for glioblastoma, can give patients a few extra months’ reprieve before their brain tumors start growing again, but does it make their quality of life better – or worse? That’s a matter of heated debate for doctors – and confusion for patients […]

June 28, 2013
6
Health and wellness
What Are Common Brain Tumor Symptoms?

by Richard Saltus People experiencing an unusual or particularly bad headache sometimes worry they might have a brain tumor. Headaches are very common and usually don’t signal a serious illness – but when should you be checked out by a doctor? We asked neuro-oncologists Lakshmi Nayak, MD, and Eudocia Quant […]

May 15, 2013
0
Cancer research
Rally to Support Cancer Research Today

by Robert Levy More than 18,000 cancer scientists from around the world are in Washington, D.C., this week for the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The meeting serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest discoveries in cancer research. The meeting […]

April 8, 2013
0
General interest
What is a Benign Tumor? What is a Malignant Tumor?

A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that has formed a lump. It’s called benign if it grows slowly and is self-limiting; that is, if it doesn’t have the capacity to invade nearby tissues and spread beyond its original site. A malignant, or cancerous, tumor, on the other hand, […]

January 29, 2013
0
Cancer research , Care for adults
Meningioma: A tumor on the edge of the brain

Musician Sheryl Crow announced on June 5 that she has a benign brain tumor known as a meningioma. Below, doctors from Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology describe this condition. The singer-songwriter, a breast cancer survivor, visited Dana-Farber in 2006. Meningiomas are tumors on the surface of the brain, spinal cord, and […]

June 15, 2012
3
Care for children
A new approach to old ideas about diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Hilary Olson had no reason to suspect that her daughter Hailey might have a brain tumor. “Her smile was starting to droop a little, and one of her eyes was a little jumpy,” says the 6-year-old’s mother. “We took her to see a neurologist, and he thought she might have […]

May 30, 2012
10
Care for adults
New developments in brain tumor treatment: Five questions for David Reardon, MD

More than 600,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor — one that begins and stays in the brain — and over 60,000 adults and children will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year. In recognition of May as Brain Tumor Awareness Month, we […]

May 22, 2012
2
General interest , Health and wellness
Do friends, family affect your health?

In low-income, minority communities, tight-knit social connections can lead people to eat right and be physically active — but they can also sometimes be an obstacle to a healthy lifestyle, according to new research by investigators at Dana-Farber and the Harvard School of Public Health. The findings present a mixed […]

May 8, 2012
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Brain tumor doesn’t slow this fitness enthusiast

Bryan Reilly has a full-time job and a passion for exercise. He skis, climbs mountains, works out regularly, and runs a mile in under 8 minutes. Any 56-year-old could be proud of being so fit. But for Reilly, it’s a special triumph: Less than two years ago he was diagnosed […]

April 19, 2012
3
Care for children
Advocating for student cancer survivors

At age 7, Sophie was treated for a brain tumor at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. As a result of her treatment, she struggled with ongoing fatigue, weakness on her right side, and chronic headaches. Sophie began her freshman year as one of 2,000 students at a large public high school. […]

March 29, 2012
0

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