Immunotherapy , Uncategorized
Cancer Immunotherapy: Taking Aim with Neoantigens

It’s a compelling idea that has attracted scientists for decades: rather than poison tumors with chemicals and radiation, use a biological agent – a vaccine – to rally the body’s formidable immune defenders to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Yet, even as other forms of immunotherapy are showing promise […]

August 9, 2017
0
Care for adults , Colon Cancer , Rectal cancer
How Is Immunotherapy Used to Treat Colorectal Cancer?

Cancers of the colon and rectum haven’t yet been as effectively treated with immunotherapy as have melanoma and lung cancer, but researchers are increasingly identifying patients who do appear to benefit from the immunity-boosting drugs – and devising strategies they hope will expand the reach of immunotherapy in colorectal cancers. […]

July 14, 2017
0
Cancer research , CAR T-cell therapy , Immunotherapy , Research
Catch Me if You Can: Finding Cancer Cells that Hide in Plain Sight

In the high-stakes contest of hide-and-seek between cancer cells and the human immune system, the advantage doesn’t always lie with the body’s defenders. A new approach to treatment, known as CAR T-cell therapy, may shift that balance of power. Cancer cells conceal themselves from the immune system not by barricading […]

June 21, 2017
0
General interest
What’s the Difference between Chemotherapy Drugs and Antibody Drugs?

Both chemotherapy and antibody agents are used in the treatment of cancer. In its broadest definition, cancer chemotherapy refers to any drug that destroys cancer cells or slows their growth and reproduction. As the “chemo” in their name suggests, however, true chemotherapy agents consist of chemicals that kill fast-growing cancer […]

June 9, 2017
0
Cancer research , CAR T-cell therapy , General interest
CAR T-Cell Therapy: How Does It Work?

CAR T-cell therapy is a kind of cellular therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune system cells to rally an attack on cancer. They’re made by removing a specific set of cells from the blood, modifying them in a lab to intensify the immune system’s natural response to cancer, and […]

June 2, 2017
2
Bladder cancer , Cancer research , Immunotherapy
How Is Immunotherapy Used to Treat Bladder Cancer?

Although immunotherapy seems like a recent phenomenon, physicians have been using the strategy to treat bladder cancer since 1990, when the BCG vaccine, made from a live but weakened tuberculosis bacilli, was approved for early stage cancer that hasn’t invaded the bladder’s muscular wall. Today, BCG is still the recommended […]

May 30, 2017
2
Brain tumors , Care for adults , Glioblastoma , Immunotherapy , Patient Stories, Adult
A Brain Tumor Kept at Bay by Immunotherapy

It’s 19 months after being diagnosed with the aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma, and Andrew Wall is itching to go back to work as a police officer. “Sitting around is not my thing,” says Wall, 53, who hasn’t yet been cleared to return to work as a police officer in Monroe, […]

May 29, 2017
0
Brain tumors , Brain tumors, childhood , Immunotherapy , Research
Webchat: The Latest in Brain Tumor Research and Care

In honor of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, David Reardon, MD, and Patrick Wen, MD, of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology, went live on Facebook to answer questions about brain cancer. The doctors discussed advice for brain tumor patients, answered audience questions, and described the difference between the two major categories of […]

May 26, 2017
0
Immunotherapy , Research
What Is a PD-L1 Test?

A PD-L1 test helps doctors determine whether a patient is likely to benefit from cancer drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. It involves sending a piece of tumor tissue to a lab for analysis. PD-L1 is a protein that allows some cells to escape an attack by the immune system. Extending […]

May 22, 2017
2
Cancer research , General interest , Immunotherapy
The Progress of Cancer Immunotherapy: The Tip of the Iceberg

If the human immune system was a powerful racing car, you could say that scientists in the past few years have gained unprecedented control over how to make it accelerate, and what causes it to slow or stop. This knowledge has spawned new immunotherapy drugs that are delivering dramatic benefits […]

May 9, 2017
2
Cancer research , Care for adults , Head and Neck Cancer , Immunotherapy
What’s New in Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer?

For patients with advanced head and neck cancers, immune-based therapies have started to show results against these hard-to-treat tumors. Two immunotherapy drugs were approved in 2016 for use when standard treatments failed, and many other agents are being tested in clinical trials. Immunotherapies work by enhancing the body’s natural defenses […]

April 20, 2017
0
Cancer research , Hodgkin lymphoma , Immunotherapy , Lymphomas , Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
New Immunotherapy Therapy Approved for Lymphoma Patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new kind of immunotherapy drug for adults and children with classical Hodgkin lymphoma who have relapsed after three or more prior lines of therapy. The approved drug, pembrolizumab (Keytruda), is part of a class of immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors that block […]

March 28, 2017
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Kidney cancer
What’s New in Immunotherapy for Kidney Cancer?

Kidney cancer is one of several cancers that has responded well to immunotherapy drugs, which can free the immune system from restraints that cancer cells can impose on it. The drug nivolumab (Opdivo), for example, which was recently approved, can extend survival in patients with metastatic kidney cancer after other […]

March 23, 2017
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Melanoma
What’s New in Immunotherapy and Melanoma? [Webchat]

Cancer immunotherapy is a kind of cancer treatment that mobilizes the patient’s immune defenses to recognize and attack tumor cells. It is now the treatment of choice for many patients with advanced melanoma, according to Elizabeth I. Buchbinder, MD, a melanoma specialist at Dana-Farber. “Immunotherapy has taken off,” Buchbinder says, “There […]

March 14, 2017
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Research
Can a Serum Biomarker Predict Response to Immunotherapy?

This post originally appeared on Cancer Research Catalyst, a blog from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). By Srivani Ravoori, PhD Immunotherapy, particularly a class of immunotherapeutics called immune checkpoint inhibitors, has transformed the treatment of several types of cancer in recent years. So far, the U.S. Food and […]

January 26, 2017
1
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Precision Cancer Medicine , Research , Risk and Prevention
Experts Forecast Cancer Research and Treatment Advances in 2017

This post originally appeared on Cancer Research Catalyst, the official blog of the American Association for Cancer Research. It was originally published Jan. 10, 2017. By Srivani Ravoori, PhD As we step into 2017, a big question looming in the minds of all stakeholders in the cancer research arena is: […]

January 10, 2017
0
Cancer research , Gastrointestinal Cancer , Immunotherapy , Pancreatic cancer
Can Immunotherapy Help Patients with Pancreatic Cancer?

Patients with pancreatic cancer often ask Dana-Farber’s Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, about immunotherapy, the rising star of cancer treatment that’s making impressive gains against many types of malignancies. Immunotherapy drugs, which mobilize the patient’s immune defenses to recognize and attack tumor cells, have worked against lethal cancers such as melanoma […]

November 30, 2016
0
Cancer research , Head and Neck Cancer , Immunotherapy
Use of Immunotherapeutic Expanded to Fifth Type of Cancer

This post originally appeared on Cancer Research Catalyst, the official blog of the American Association of Cancer Research. It was originally published Nov. 15, 2016. By Karen Honey, PhD On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved expanding the use of the immunotherapeutic nivolumab […]

November 15, 2016
4
General interest , Treatments and Procedures
What Is Combination Therapy?

Combination therapy, the use of more than one type of therapy in treating a patient, is a hallmark of cancer treatment. The complexity of the disease – its tendency to spread beyond its original site and become resistant to certain drugs, and its genetic diversity – underscores the need for […]

November 7, 2016
0
Bladder cancer , Cancer research , Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy Beats Chemotherapy for Advanced Bladder Cancer Patients

The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is the first therapy of any kind to improve survival in patients whose metastatic bladder cancer worsened after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy. Keytruda proved so much better than chemotherapy in this “second-line” use that an international clinical trial was halted when the advantage became apparent. […]

October 21, 2016
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Research
What’s New in Cancer Immunotherapy?

Keeping up with progress in the field of cancer immunotherapy requires paying close attention. The number of approved drugs that help the body’s immune system fight cancer continues to grow, as does the list of different cancers in which immunotherapy is proving effective – in some cases yielding dramatically longer-lasting […]

September 27, 2016
0
Care for children , Neuroblastoma, childhood , Patient Stories, Pediatric , Treatments and Procedures
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
2
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Susan F. Smith Center , Treatments and Procedures
Fighting Women’s Cancers from Within

Traditionally, the war on cancer has been waged from the outside in, with therapies such as surgery, radiation, and drugs entering the body from external sources. For more than 100 years, however, a notion has persisted that the most formidable tool against cancer may come from within: the immune system. […]

June 27, 2016
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Melanoma , Research
ASCO 2016 Update: Immunotherapy and Melanoma

As one of the hottest topics in cancer research today, immunotherapy took center stage at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, a breast oncologist in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recently sat down with […]

June 15, 2016
1
Cancer research , Care for adults
A Behind the Scenes Look at the People Helping to Usher in New Cancer Therapies: A Nurse’s Story

This post originally appeared on HuffPost Impact. By Joan Lucca, RN, MSN Nearly four decades ago, I became a nurse and dedicated my life’s work to the care and comfort of patients. The ‘70s was a decade of change and opportunity as doors began to open for women in emerging […]

May 17, 2016
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
How Scientists Aim to Expand Immunotherapy Options for Cancer Patients

This post also appeared on the NERD (Novartis Explores Research & Development) blog. By Eric Bender Fighting cancer with immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment for some patients. Emphasize “some.” For most patients, drugs targeting the immune system to attack their tumors aren’t an option. This could change in the near future. […]

April 14, 2016
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Rectal cancer
Can We Treat Colorectal Cancer With Immunotherapy?

This post originally appeared on Cancer Research Catalyst, the official blog of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It is posted here with minor edits. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. About 134,490 people are estimated to be diagnosed with and about 49,190 are expected to die from colorectal […]

March 21, 2016
0
Brain tumors , Care for adults , Research , Treatments and Procedures
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 , Immunotherapy
What Makes Cancer Cells Different from Normal Cells?

Although they may seem like foreign invaders, cancer cells develop out of normal body cells and tissues. Over a period of years, damage to the DNA of healthy cells disrupts their orderly growth, leading to the formation of malignant tumors. Cancer cells may contain thousands of mutations – alterations in […]

March 2, 2016
0
Blood Cancer , Cancer research
The Latest Research in Multiple Myeloma, Leukemia and Other Blood Cancers

The last two years have been very exciting for blood cancer research; many new targeted therapies and immunotherapies are improving treatment outcomes for patients with lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. “We’re starting to see a lot of hematologic malignancies benefit from immunotherapy,” says Irene Ghobrial, MD. “The excitement is there […]

February 11, 2016
0
Cancer research , Care for adults , Immunotherapy , Treatments and Procedures
What Are the Side Effects of Immunotherapy?

New drugs that stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack tumors have achieved some dramatic and long-lasting benefits in several forms of cancer. A few drugs are already approved for wide use and many more are in the research pipeline. Because these immunotherapy agents work differently than chemotherapy, they can […]

February 10, 2016
4
Cancer research , Melanoma , Treatments and Procedures
What Is CTLA-4 and How Does it Work in Treating Metastatic Melanoma?

Since the early 2000s, when Dana-Farber scientists discovered that many cancer cells carry “checkpoint” proteins that ward off an immune system attack on tumors, a great deal of research has focused on the development and testing of agents capable of blocking those proteins. In many patients, such agents have sent […]

December 15, 2015
0
Cancer research , Care for adults , Immunotherapy , Melanoma
Remission of Jimmy Carter’s Melanoma Shows Potential of Immunotherapy for Cancer

Former President Jimmy Carter’s announcement earlier this week that he is free of the melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain may be the highest-profile example yet of the promise of a new form of cancer treatment that unleashes an immune system attack on the disease. Carter, 91, […]

December 11, 2015
1
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Lung cancers
Immunotherapy and Lung Cancer: Exploring the Latest Research

The year 2015 marked a milestone in the treatment of lung cancer, with two new immunotherapy drugs approved for patients with advanced disease, bringing a new approach to this hard-to-treat cancer. Several other immunotherapy agents are also moving forward in clinical trials. In the past few years, scientists have found […]

November 18, 2015
1
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Treatments and Procedures
Hot Topics in Immunotherapy and Targeted Therapy

This blog post is an excerpt from a Q&A posted on the Cancer Research Catalyst blog, the official blog of the American Association for Cancer Research. The interview was done with Dana-Farber’s Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, in advance of the International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics.   What […]

November 12, 2015
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
What Is a Checkpoint Inhibitor? Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Definition

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs – often made of antibodies – that unleash an immune system attack on cancer cells. They’ve scored some impressive successes in recent years, particularly in some patients with metastatic melanoma or Hodgkin lymphoma, and are showing promise in clinical trials involving patients with other types […]

September 9, 2015
0
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
What Is Cancer Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses a patient’s immune system to fight diseases like cancer. This new area of treatment is one of the most promising areas of cancer research today. There are several strategies used in immunotherapy; some simply give the immune system a boost in order to have […]

June 25, 2015
4
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Treatments and Procedures
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
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
How Does the Body’s Immune System Fight Cancer? (Immunotherapy)

Immunology is one of the most promising areas of cancer treatment today. Immunotherapy drugs, which use the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer cells, have been effective in treating several forms of the disease, including melanoma, prostate cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and certain types of brain tumors. The immune system […]

June 1, 2015
2
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
What is the Science of PD-1 and Immunotherapy?

This is a story about the velocity of an idea – a discovery whose potential to improve cancer treatment practically leapt from the test tube. The groundwork was laid in the 1990s, when scientists learned that human cells carry certain proteins on their surface that enable them to escape attack […]

May 13, 2015
1
Cancer research , Treatments and Procedures
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
Brain tumors , Cancer research , Immunotherapy
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
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Melanoma
Keytruda: New Immunotherapy Drug for Melanoma Wins FDA Approval

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new type of  immunotherapy drug that will provide a much-needed option for patients with advanced or inoperable melanoma who no longer respond to other drugs – including the immunotherapy agent ipilimumab (Yervoy). The drug, pembrolizumab or MK-3745, will be marketed under the name  Keytruda. Based on […]

September 5, 2014
4
Care for adults , Health Topics , Melanoma
Melanoma: Five Things You Need to Know

Although skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, melanoma accounts for less than 2 percent of all skin cancer cases. The disease, which will be diagnosed in around 76,000 Americans in 2014, is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, which […]

May 5, 2014
1
Cancer research , Immunotherapy
Cancer Immunology at Dana-Farber

Immunotherapy – stimulating the body’s defenses to recognize and destroy disease-causing cells and proteins – was dubbed the “breakthrough of the year” in 2013 by Science magazine. Dana-Farber researchers have contributed many important discoveries over the years about how the immune system works. Now, they are building on these insights […]

January 30, 2014
0
Cancer research , Care for adults , Kidney cancer , Treatments and Procedures
New Strategies in Treating Kidney Cancer

By Richard Saltus  Though quite curable when diagnosed early, kidney cancer in advanced stages can become a stubborn disease. However, the outlook for patients with metastatic kidney cancer has brightened in the past several years. Oncologists have added to their arsenal a number of designer drugs that attack molecular targets […]

January 20, 2014
4
Cancer research , Immunotherapy , Treatments and Procedures
Cancer Immunotherapy Named ‘Breakthrough of the Year’

By Robert Levy Treatments that unleash the body’s own disease-fighting cells against cancer – an approach known as immunotherapy – have been heralded as the “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science magazine.

December 24, 2013
22
Brain tumors , 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 , Immunotherapy
What is immunotherapy for cancer?

Immunotherapy is one of the most technologically advanced yet basic forms of cancer treatment. It uses the body’s own defense mechanism, the immune system, to fight cancer. Immunotherapy is probably most familiar to you in the form of vaccinations for the flu, polio, chicken pox, and other contagious diseases. In […]

June 5, 2012
0

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