From Pediatric Cancer Treatment to Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C., can be a frenzied place, especially for a college student juggling a full class load and congressional internships on Capitol Hill. Jen Fox, however, is taking it all in stride. How does she stay so calm? Well, Fox suggests, two bouts with Hodgkin lymphoma in three years, and a stem cell transplant at … Continued

Patrice Kelly’s Journey from Jimmy Fund Clinic Mom to Breast Cancer Patient

Charlotte Kelly hated having her chemotherapy port accessed, but her mother, Patrice, found a way to calm the toddler. Each time tears came, Patrice would rub her nose against Charlotte’s – and the pair would get past their fears together. Today the ritual continues, even though Charlotte’s last neuroblastoma checkup at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and … Continued

College Student Reconnects with the Oncologist Who Saved Her Life

This post originally appeared on Thriving, the Boston Children’s Hospital blog. Anna Protsiou was 5 when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2002. She remembers pain, and fruit-scented anesthesia masks that led her to stop eating cherries. She also remembers hospital arts and crafts projects. What she barely remembers is the pediatric oncologist who saved … Continued

An Unclassified Tumor — with a Precisely Targeted Therapy

Early last year, at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jesus Apolinaris Cruz’s leg hurt so much he could barely sleep. “All day, it was constant pain,” the 13-year-old recalls. His parents took him to two local pediatricians, who examined him, drew blood, and tested his platelets. No diagnosis. Finally, in April 2016, a … Continued

What’s New in Pediatric Brain Tumor Research and Care?

Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD, director of Pediatric Medical Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, spoke to pediatric patient families in a recent Facebook Live Webchat addressing pediatric brain tumor care. Kieran answered questions from audience members about the most common of the 300 brain tumor types that occur in children, including … Continued

Facing Fertility Issues as a Pediatric Cancer Survivor

In her research studies with young adult survivors of childhood cancers, pediatric oncologist Natasha Frederick, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, explored sexual dysfunction in survivors between the ages of 18 and 30 years old. She found that most of these young survivors reporting such problems keep their concerns from partners, loved ones, and caregivers, and … Continued

How Pediatric and Canine Cancer Similarities Can Help Both Children and Pets

In March 2016, Ollie the pug, a therapy dog at Boston Children’s Hospital, paid a bedside visit to 7-year-old Carter Mock. Both dog and boy lost limbs to osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone. Ollie’s left front leg was amputated at the shoulder. After removing the tumor in Carter’s left leg bone, surgeons fashioned  a … Continued

He Lost His Sight to Cancer, But Not His Vision of a Full Life

When Tim Conners collected his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012 at the age of 18, he was blind from childhood leukemia that had spread to his optic nerve. A football player and wrestler who’d never been an outdoorsman, he asked to meet Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits … Continued

Finding Strength and Beauty During Annual ‘Girls Weekend’

For seventeen girls and patients at Dana-Farber Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Dana-Farber’s annual Girls Weekend – a three-day arts, shopping, and food extravaganza – is a much-needed opportunity to relax and connect with new friends who also know what it’s like to have cancer. “Being a teenager – especially when you’re a … Continued

Lymphoma Patient Gets Back on the Court Post-Treatment

For much of his 17 years, Spencer Riley has lived to play basketball. This winter, his favorite sport helped the teenager get back to life. Riley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016 and treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center that summer. He underwent an intensive three-month treatment cycle: one week of … Continued

Do Childhood Leukemia Patients with Down Syndrome Need Modified Therapy?

Because of their increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, should ALL patients with Down syndrome receive modified treatment to minimize this risk? Or should they be given the same treatment as other children with ALL, to minimize the chance for relapse?

Improving Childhood Cancer Treatment Worldwide [Infographic]

Cancer knows no borders, and pediatric patients in low- and middle-income countries often have less access to quality care. The Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center exists to change this by improving outcomes and survival rates for children with cancer and blood disorders, regardless of their place of birth. View … Continued

When Your Sons Are Both Diagnosed with Cancer

By Ebony Glass One day, our 2-year-old son Javon complained about a bit of pain at daycare. It seemed harmless enough. But after a visit to the pediatrician, we ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. There, they discovered that a mass in his body was causing the pain. “Cancer?” we feared, but it was … Continued

The Loss of a Child: Stories from Three Bereaved Parents

As told to Sue Morris, PsyD As director of Dana-Farber’s Bereavement Program, I regularly sit with bereaved individuals, listen to their stories, and help them navigate their lives after they have been completely turned upside down. I recently spoke with three bereaved parents who are members of Dana-Farber’s Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), … Continued