A vital structure to the human body, the lymphatic system is a complex and important part of the immune system that helps maintain fluid balance within our tissues. Acting as a filter, it pushes lymph (a clear, watery fluid that contains white blood cells, oxygen, and other nutrients) throughout the […]
Someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer every three minutes. The most commonly diagnosed blood cancers are non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that forms in […]
Itchy skin has many causes, including dryness and allergies, but only rarely does it signal that a person has cancer. This symptom may occur as a result of complications of the disease, and itchy, flaky skin and rashes are common side effects of some cancer drugs. Most skin cancers, such as […]
It might sound counterintuitive, but not every patient comes to Dana-Farber for cancer treatment. For example, the Institute’s experts regularly see patients seeking help with benign (non-cancerous) blood disorders. Benign blood disorders such as anemia and sickle cell disease are often treated at cancer centers because such institutions are home […]
Precursor conditions are early phases of blood diseases that may develop into cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and multiple myeloma. Most people do not experience symptoms, and since doctors rarely screen for precursor conditions, they are often diagnosed after routine blood tests. “Many diagnoses are purely incidental,” says […]
Parents face many unique challenges when diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles is learning how to communicate with children about this difficult and emotional subject. “It’s important children can feel there’s open communication and they can ask questions,” says Kelly (Drummond) Giles, LICSW, a Dana-Farber social […]
No one wants to give their kids bad news, and it’s hard to imagine worse than telling your kids you have cancer. For lymphoma survivors Gina Johnson and Connie Grayson, the challenge was greater, because they not only had their own kids to tell, but as teachers, they also had […]
By Erin Cummings As a 44-year survivor of childhood cancer, I never would have imagined that patients could be treated in a place as warm and inviting as Dana-Farber. Each time I come for follow-up care, or as a member of the Art and Environment Committee that helps select artwork […]
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 […]
Peter Silveira took to calling his daughter, Hannah, a good luck charm during his treatment for gray-zone lymphoma in 2014-15. Now, with her dad’s cancer in remission, the grade-schooler – who accompanied him to several of his treatments at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) – has taken it upon […]
By Stephen Perez Cancer has a way of putting your life on hold and making you prioritize your health, treatments, and your best attempts to not feel sick through the process. While there’s never a good time for this interruption, my diagnosis came at a particularly difficult time: the second […]
Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign of infection by bacteria or viruses. In a small percentage of cases, though, the swelling can be caused by cancer. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped tissues that act as filters for lymph. Lymph is a clear fluid that seeps out of the smallest […]
Evan Lavigne was part of tight-knit units, both as a high school hockey player and a member of the United States Coast Guard. And when the 24-year-old learned in January that he had lymphoma – just one week before entering the police academy – teammates were there to support him. […]
While lymphomas and lymphocytic leukemias are both blood disorders, they are not the same disease. The main difference between lymphomas and lymphocytic leukemias is the location of the cancer cells. In leukemia, they’re found primarily in the bone marrow and blood; in lymphoma, they exist mainly in the lymph system, […]
The past two years have seen a surge of new treatments for blood cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. Research on the genetic flaws underlying specific cancer types has led to new precision drugs such as ibrutinib and idelalisib and new immunotherapy agents that are improving outcomes in […]
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 […]
Gina Johnson and Connie Grayson have a combined 53 years teaching in the public school system. Last year, however, their cancer diagnoses prompted them to incorporate a new element into their lesson plans. “When I was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2014, one of my student’s moms had just passed […]
Before Alden Coldwell and her fiancé, Peter Dearborn, were married in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire at the end of June, the couple opted for a different kind of bridal shower. On June 14, family and friends of the bride and groom gathered at the Kraft Family Blood Donor […]
During a year in which both his wife and mother battled cancer, Andrew Macrae often felt as if he were summiting a mountain. Now, to honor their journey and support Dana-Farber, Macrae is scaling the 29,029 feet needed to reach the peak of the world’s tallest mountain – Mount Everest […]
Although the diseases may sound similar, there are a variety of differences between Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We spoke with Arnold Freedman, MD, of the Adult Lymphoma Program at Dana-Farber, to learn more. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are malignancies of a family of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, […]
To mark its 50th anniversary, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) invited physicians, patients, and the public to name the most important advances in clinical cancer research in the past half century. From more than 2,000 responses, the top choice was a cure for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma developed by […]
By Christina Dixon Cancer turned my world upside-down overnight. I had just graduated from college, moved to Boston after finishing undergrad at Washington and Lee in Virginia, and started my dream job on an interest rate derivatives sales desk. Suddenly, instead of working, spending time with my friends, and playing sports, […]
Immunotherapy, treatments for ovarian cancer, and investigating game-changing drug therapies topped the list of the most important cancer research and clinical developments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2014. Here are some highlights from the last year in research: Hodgkin lymphoma Some of the most dramatic evidence of potential of immunotherapies […]
In the treatment of blood cancers and disorders, doctors and researchers are focusing their sights on the immune system and how to bolster its ability to fight off diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. “Understanding how you control the immune system is a big theme in treatment for these […]
Thousands of people learn each year – usually after a routine blood test – that they have a condition that may develop into a blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma. The news is often followed by an equally surprising addendum: the condition won’t be treated until it […]
Although lymphoma diagnoses are often categorized as either Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, there are many subtypes of each disease, with more than 50 subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma alone. Most forms of the more than 70,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed in the U.S. each year can be broken […]
When Lisa Robert is interviewed at Fenway Park for the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation (Aug 19-20), her mind will no doubt drift back to 1976, when she was a 7-year-old leukemia patient at Dana-Farber and had the thrill of her life. She threw out the […]
By Catherine Goff When you’re 21, the last words you expect to hear are “you have cancer.” But, that was exactly the news I received in 1976 after a routine trip to my college infirmary landed me in Boston Children’s Hospital with Hodgkin lymphoma. Thanks to new treatments developed through clinical […]
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh recently gave the keynote address at Dana-Farber’s Living Proof: Celebrating Survivorship event. He shared his experience as a child being treated for Burkitt’s lymphoma at Dana-Farber and Boston Children’s Hospital. Below are some excerpts from his speech: I was diagnosed with cancer at age 7. I went through treatment […]
The Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of the drug ibrutinib offers a major new option for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who tried at least one prior therapy, physicians say.
By Cindy Coyle My husband Bill was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in January 2012. Needless to say it was a great shock to us and our three children, Billy, Sasha-Lee, and Jimmy. Looking back, I realize how two unlikely events guided us through his treatment and recovery: a tattoo and […]
Ann LaCasce, MD, a medical oncologist in the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center Adult Lymphoma Program, answered a variety of questions about Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma during a live web chat hosted by Dana-Farber last month.
Approximately 173,000 people in the United States are living with Hodgkin lymphoma, or are in remission. Less common than non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma (sometimes referred to as Hodgkin’s lymphoma) is a malignancy of B lymphocytes, an important cell in the immune system. This malignant B cell is known as the […]
Lymphoma: How do we treat it? Where are future therapies headed? On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Ann LaCasce, MD, of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center Adult Lymphoma Program will answer your questions about lymphoma care in a live video webchat. The 45-minute chat starts at 1 p.m. EST and will […]
Current lymphoma therapies are a far cry from the mustard gas used more than 50 years ago. More treatment options, including ones that may be more effective and less toxic, are being studied in ongoing clinical trials. “Clinical trials really are the future of lymphoma treatment,” says Ann LaCasce, MD, […]
More than 70 years ago, two pharmacologists began looking at mustard gas as a possible treatment for lymphoma. The chemical, used during World War I, lowered blood counts and destroyed lymph nodes in soldiers who were exposed to the gas. Two decades after the war, a thoracic surgeon named Gustav […]
Liz Moroney celebrated her 23rd birthday in an unusual place — at a fertility clinic. Liz, a recent college graduate, wanted to plan for having children before it was too late. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June 2010, she spent 4 months in chemotherapy treatment in New York. Afterward, she […]
By Stephen Sallan, MD Today, three quarters or more of all childhood cancer patients will be cured of their disease, a higher percentage than ever before. And the numbers will only get better as we learn more about the biology of childhood cancers and develop new ways of treating them.
Award-winning photographer Richard Conboy understands the value of enjoying the moment, both in his pictures and in his life. Conboy had Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a teenager, and 40 years later, he beat colon cancer with the help of the Dana-Farber.
Their last names are practically identical. They are both fathers, and their oldest sons, now 6’3, were born on the same day – just two hours apart. “Blood brothers” Craig Johnson and Henrik Janssen had much to celebrate recently.
Imagine being 22 and having your two biggest fears come true: You have cancer, and your treatment may leave you unable to have children in the future. While you’re still coming to terms with the diagnosis, you now have to make some major life decisions. Do you want to freeze […]