Cancer research
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
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Cancer 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
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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
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Cancer research
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
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Cancer research
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
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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
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Cancer research
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
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
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Cancer research , Care for adults
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
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
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Cancer research , Care for adults
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 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
0
Cancer research
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
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Cancer research
What Is a Checkpoint Inhibitor?

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
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Cancer research
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, 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
How the Body’s Immune System Can Fight Cancer

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
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
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
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
New Immunotherapy Drug for Melanoma Wins 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 and wellness
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
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
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
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
21
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
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
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