Care for adults , General interest
Dana-Farber Staffer Marks Five Years Post-Transplant with Run of a Lifetime

Mary Taber’s marathon training requires a singular focus. It is demanding, solitary, life-affirming – not unlike her treatment five years ago for aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Taber, intranet editor at Dana-Farber, will mark five years from her March 2011 bone marrow transplant by taking to the storied […]

April 15, 2016
1
Cancer research , Care for adults
FDA Approval of Defibrotide Brightens Outlook for Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Patients and Dana-Farber researchers alike welcomed this week’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a new drug for a potentially fatal side effect of stem cell transplants. The approval means patients can receive the drug, defibrotide, as standard therapy for hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) of the liver, a dangerous […]

March 31, 2016
0
Care for children
For College Athlete-Turned Transplant Patient, Life’s Still a Ball

The first time a stem cell transplant recipient leaves his or her quarantined hospital room marks a significant milestone. In the case of Dana Mendes, this move toward independence included an additional step: chasing a ball through the hallways with a stick. For Mendes, 18, it was a return to […]

February 12, 2016
1
General interest
Why Do Stem Cells Have a Strong Odor?

The blood-forming stem cells used in transplants carry hope, promise, and, as many patients report, a strong odor. What gives the cells this distinct smell, which has been compared to that of creamed corn? It comes from the protective solution in which the cells are frozen and stored, rather than […]

January 13, 2016
0
Care for children
Despite Difficult Stem Cell Transplant, Teen Remains Active

Drew D’Auteuil is a 17-year-old animal-loving, skiing, rowing, volleyball- playing, honor roll student with braces and a shock of red hair. Although he may seem like a typical teen, D’Auteuil has survived rare, life-threatening complications of a stem cell transplant for severe aplastic anemia. “It’s eye-opening to realize how fragile […]

November 30, 2015
2
Care for adults , General interest
How a Stem Cell Transplant Changed My Outlook — and My Career

By Todd Ellison, MSW, LICSW I often tell people that the experiences I’ve had, however challenging, were necessary to make me who I am today. I am pretty happy with the person I turned out to be, and I think cancer had a lot to do with that. Back in […]

November 2, 2015
2
Care for adults
How to Prepare Your Home for a Stem Cell Transplant Patient

Leaving the hospital is an important milestone for stem cell transplant patients, because it marks the first return home after what can often be an extended recovery. But this homecoming also requires a bit of advance preparation. That’s because stem cell transplants destroy and rebuild the immune system, leaving patients […]

October 9, 2015
0
General interest
Stem Cell Transplant Donor, Recipient Meet for First Time at Fenway Park

After trying chemotherapy to fight acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer, Donnie Lewis, a 56-year-old husband and father of two from Canton, Mass., learned that his best chance to return to health would be through a stem cell transplant. Because Donnie didn’t have any siblings who were a match […]

August 19, 2015
0
Care for children
Isolation Patients Bond During Treatment

This post originally appeared on the Jimmy Fund blog. By Erica Equi “People would say ‘I feel bad for her’…I’m the same person I ever was, but better, stronger,” says 14-year-old Shannon Curley, reflecting on the time she spent in isolation treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. […]

July 22, 2015
0
General interest
Doctor’s Journey Out of Saigon Inspires Clinical Career

For some patients with blood cancers and related disorders, a stem cell transplant offers the possibility of a new beginning. Vincent Ho, MD, clinical director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, is no stranger to this feeling of starting fresh. He had his own […]

May 29, 2015
2
Care for adults , Care for children
Answers to Common Questions About Stem Cell Transplants

Stem cell transplantation can be a life-saving treatment option for patients with blood cancers or disorders. The procedure, sometimes called bone marrow transplantation, replaces bone marrow that doesn’t work correctly or has been damaged by disease. We spoke with Joseph Antin, MD, chief of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at […]

March 27, 2015
4
Care for adults , Uncategorized
Dentist Brings a Smile to Transplant Patients

Like many family members of cancer patients, Stephen Matarazzo, DMD, wanted a meaningful way to thank the Dana-Farber caregivers who saved his son Michael’s life. What he came up with involved offering his own professional expertise to protect the smiles of others. A dentist based in Quincy, Mass., Matarazzo provides […]

September 5, 2014
1
Care for children
Months After Transplant, Teen Hits the Soccer Field

Some 100 days after receiving a stem cell transplant to cure his severe aplastic anemia, 13-year-old Behaylu Barry still couldn’t invite friends into his home. He can’t return to school until January, when his immune system will finally be strong enough to fight the pathogens present in indoor spaces. Yet  […]

August 29, 2014
0
Care for children
What to Do if Your Child Relapses

Relapse is a word any cancer patient dreads, but for parents of children with cancer, fear of the cancer coming back can be acute. Yet, “a cure is possible for many patients whose cancer returns,” says Barbara Degar, MD.  “We approach the second experience with the same rigor we brought […]

July 25, 2014
0
General interest
Living Life

By Jack Coates In May 2001, I was diagnosed with medullablastoma. I was 19 years old and had just finished my freshman year at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Medullablastoma is a cancer that affects the brain and the spine. I had three surgeries, 52 weeks of chemo, and […]

March 24, 2014
1
General interest
A Tattoo and a Bulldog: How One Family Coped with Cancer

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 […]

March 10, 2014
6
Cancer research , Care for adults
New Drugs Bring Optimism to Graft-Versus-Host Disease Treatment

Outcomes are gradually improving for patients who suffer from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), one of the most serious complications of stem cell transplantation, and researchers are optimistic that further advances may be on the way.

February 27, 2014
1
Uncategorized
Patient’s Grandson: How My Grandfather Inspires Me

Many young boys have special relationships with their grandfathers. Few express their feelings as eloquently as young Oliver Parry. Inspired by his grandfather’s work and his battle with cancer, the nine-year-old penned the essay below, winning a regional award from the 2013-2014 Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Reflections contest, and potentially […]

February 10, 2014
1
Care for adults , General interest
Five Things You Need to Know About Donating Bone Marrow

Thousands of people who face life-threatening blood diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, require treatment with a stem cell transplantation (also referred to as a bone marrow transplantation). For many patients, the best treatment approach is an allogeneic transplant, in which healthy stem cells are collected from another […]

February 3, 2014
1
Care for adults , General interest
How Donated Blood and Platelets Help Cancer Patients

If you’ve ever donated blood or platelets, there’s a reasonable chance that your donation went to help a cancer patient. That’s because cancer and certain treatments can damage blood cells, which means some patients may need transfusions of one or more types of blood components:

January 24, 2014
1
Cancer research , Care for adults , Care for children , General interest , Health and wellness
Top 10 Insight Stories from 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our favorite Insight posts from the last year. From inspiring patient stories to important research, here is our top 10 list:

December 27, 2013
0
Care for adults , Care for children , General interest
What’s the Difference Between Donating Bone Marrow and Donating Stem Cells?

Stem cell transplantation (sometimes called bone marrow transplants) is a treatment for certain forms of cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, as well as other diseases. But before a patient can receive a transplant, stem cells must be collected from a donor (an allogeneic donation) or from the […]

November 22, 2013
1
Care for adults
How to Care for Your Central Line at Home

Cancer or blood disorder patients may have central lines, which make it easier to receive certain medications (such as chemotherapy) and have blood tests. The major types of central lines include Port-A-Cath, Hickman, and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). Patients receiving stem cell transplants sometimes have central lines. If you have a central […]

October 25, 2013
0
Care for children
College and Cancer: Tips from a Student Survivor

By Catherine MacLean “Why is this coming up now?” “It’s been 10 years. I should be over this already.” “Why is this happening to me? All of the other survivors I know seem fine.” These thoughts preoccupied me during the transition from high school to college. It had been 10 […]

October 11, 2013
2
Care for adults
One Year After My Stem Cell Transplant — What I’ve Learned

by Martha Laperle When my son Ryan ran the Boston Marathon this year, I watched him with a special level of pride. Not only had he completed his first-ever marathon in four hours, but he was running, in large part, because of me. Just over a year earlier, at the […]

September 20, 2013
13
Care for adults
New Therapies Bring Progress Against Multiple Myeloma

By Christine Cleary  The 21st century has seen great strides in treatment for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow once considered a death sentence. In fact, thanks to research by Dana-Farber scientists, this blood cancer that took the lives of Geraldine Ferraro and Leonard P. Zakim has become […]

July 18, 2013
23
General interest
Meet Boston Marathon Runner and Platelet Donor Wendy Akeson

By Saul Wisnia Wendy Akeson is passionate about both running and donating platelets. Never has she felt such a strong connection between these two roles as she did this year. Four minutes after completing her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon, Akeson heard the explosions that will forever link this year’s marathon […]

May 27, 2013
0
Care for adults , Health and wellness
Seven Tips for Life After Stem Cell Transplant

By Maria Pearson As a technology teacher who had a long career with IBM before going into education, I have encountered all sorts of opportunities to teach – and to learn. The biggest such opportunity of my life occurred at the intersection of cancer, technology, and Dana-Farber. In August 2010, […]

February 20, 2013
21
Care for adults
The Power of Listening to Cancer Patients

By Melissa Cochran, MS, NP For my cancer patients, a stem cell transplant is a life-changing event. They cannot work outside the home for a full year; visits to Dana-Farber are about the only excursions allowed. No more trips to the grocery store or dinners at a favorite restaurant. In our clinic, […]

February 7, 2013
7
Care for adults
Finding a Way to Help Cancer Patients – Again and Again

Bob Hurkett doesn’t know what became of the little girl he first heard of in 1998, but he thinks about her often. She was 5 years old and needed a bone marrow transplant. Hurkett and his wife, Jane, attended a donor drive hosted by the girl’s family where their blood […]

January 23, 2013
5
Care for adults , Care for children , Health and wellness
How to Protect Cancer Patients from Flu

by Saul Weingart, MD, PhD Flu has arrived in the northeast with a vengeance. The City of Boston declared the flu epidemic a public health emergency. Perhaps someone you know has been sick with the flu. Influenza can be serious for anyone, but for a cancer patient, the stakes are […]

January 11, 2013
0
Care for adults
Siblings Are Thankful for Bone Marrow Transplant

On Thanksgiving Day every year, Marc Kutzer and his sister, Roberta Klein, have much to be thankful for. In 2001, Kutzer went to his primary care physician for a routine physical. What his doctor discovered led Kutzer, 52, to Dana-Farber — and to a procedure he credits for saving not […]

November 13, 2012
0
Care for adults , Care for children
Stem Cell vs. Bone Marrow Transplant: What’s the Difference?

With Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber has performed thousands of stem cell/bone marrow transplants for adult and pediatric patients with blood cancers and other serious illnesses. What’s the difference between these two terms? As it turns out, the only real distinction is in the method of […]

November 8, 2012
13
Care for adults
‘Blood brothers’ celebrate stem cell transplant

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.

August 10, 2012
0
Care for adults
7 Tips to Remember When Visiting Cancer Patients

When we are sick, the kindness of others carries us through. Visits from those we love provide comfort, a hand to hold. But for Cindy Hale, healing meant limiting contact with family and friends. Hale underwent an allogeneic stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber in 2002, leaving her immunocompromised – with […]

August 9, 2012
0
Care for adults , Care for children , Health and wellness
Summer brings greater need for blood, platelet donations

One of the easiest and most effective ways to help cancer patients is to give blood. There is a constant need for donations, but especially so in the summer when people are on vacation and unable to donate. One pint of blood can save up to two lives, and one […]

August 7, 2012
0
Care for adults
Tips every new cancer survivor should know

In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship.  When I was discharged from the hospital in 1996 after undergoing a stem cell transplant to treat leukemia, I was terrified. Yes, I’d survived cancer treatment, but now I had to deal with something even scarier: the unknown. If you’ve recently […]

June 22, 2012
1
Care for children
A cancer survivor at age 9

In celebration of Living Proof week, Insight honors cancer survivors with daily posts about survivorship. To look at 9-year-old baseball player and Lego champion Charlie Rider, you’d never guess he’d had cancer for nearly half his life.

June 21, 2012
0
Care for adults
What is myelodysplastic syndrome?

When Good Morning America host Robin Roberts revealed that she has myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), she turned a spotlight on a group of blood disorders that affect an estimated 35,000 to 55,000 people in the United States. In patients with MDS, the bone marrow fails to produce normal quantities of blood cells […]

June 12, 2012
0
Cancer research
Blood cancer research may lead to new treatments

At this year’s American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, Dana-Farber scientists presented major findings that could one day improve diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers, extend life, or even cure some diseases. Among the highlights: Steven Treon, MD, PhD, and his colleagues identified a gene mutation that underlies the vast […]

December 13, 2011
0

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