An exercise-related hormone, irisin, administered to animals with a model of Parkinson’s disease reduced nerve degeneration and symptoms associated with the progressive movement disorder, say scientists from Dana-Farber and Johns Hopkins Medicine. About one million people in the United States, and 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s, which is characterized by tremors, slowed … Read more
What does “refractory” mean medically? The word “refractory” in general use means stubborn or intractable, and in medicine it is specifically applied to disease that does not respond to treatment. Refractory cancer refers to cancer that may be resistant to initial therapy or becomes resistant during treatment. “We would consider disease refractory if doesn’t respond … Read more
Natural killer (NK) cells are white blood cells that serve as a part of the body’s first line of defense against infections and cancers. Along with T cells and B cells, NK cells have specialized roles as part of the immune system and have shown potential for being used in cancer immunotherapy. Their effectiveness is … Read more
When Kevin Hoyle found out he was a match for a blood cancer patient in need of a stem cell transplant in 2015, he felt surprisingly uncomfortable — not from fear of the procedure, but because he didn’t feel he deserved the opportunity. “I’m just an ordinary guy,” he thought. “Why should I have the honor of being able to offer someone a possibly life-altering scenario?” … Read more
What is BPDCN? Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare but aggressive blood cancer that can affect the skin, blood, and bone marrow. It has characteristics similar to leukemias and lymphomas, but almost always first appears as lesions in the skin. What are the treatment options for BPDCN? The first drug that was … Read more
Vaccines play a vital role in helping to keep us safe. They work by introducing our bodies to a weakened or modified version of a particular virus (such as measles, mumps, etc.). This allows our immune system to produce antibodies — proteins used by the immune system to attack and destroy foreign substances — in … Read more
Nutritionists and doctors agree that consuming soft drinks in excess is associated with several health complications and diseases, including weight gain or obesity, poor dental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. Some of these health conditions can play a role in increasing one’s risk of developing cancer.
Scalp cooling is a simple treatment developed to help prevent or reduce hair loss caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells, and hair is the second fastest dividing cell — which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Scalp cooling reduces the blood flow to the cells that produce hair and … Read more
At just 18 years old, Gabbi Stewart is a two-time survivor of two very different types of cancer. While her care team acted quickly to aggressively treat her most recent cancer, Stewart was faced with what she says was her greatest challenge: building back up the self-confidence the disease had eroded. A rare diagnosis In … Read more
Three-year-old Lia Scagnoli skipped across the “Bridge of Hope” connecting Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute each time she had a chemotherapy infusion or other treatment for pediatric kidney cancer at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Caregivers offering equal parts love, hope, and fun diversions gave her and her family a feeling of confidence that … Read more
A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when you prepare for treatment with your care team. However, knowing what to prepare for can help make the process a little easier. Here’s what you can generally expect in your first meeting with your oncologist, and care team, after your diagnosis. Information collecting Before you meet with … Read more
On the strength of the results of a major international clinical trial, there is now a new standard of care for patients with an advanced form of ovarian cancer who have responded to initial chemotherapy. The trial, dubbed SOLO-1, found that these patients – newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer that carries a mutation in the … Read more
After undergoing the myriad challenges of a stem cell transplant and the procedure’s recovery, cancer survivor Peter Gordon is now helping others better understand the process from a patient’s point of view.
Keith Rohleder was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive blood cancer that most people have never heard of. But a new clinical trial put him into remission.
Bone marrow failure occurs when the bone marrow – the soft, spongy center of the bones – fails to produce enough healthy blood cells to keep up with the body’s needs.
Pediatric leukemia patient Emma Duffin is in remission, thanks to the stem cell transplant made possible by her brother, Alexander.
Many types of cancer can be detected at an early stage, when they have just started to form and have yet to spread to other parts of the body. Early detection can be critical, because cancer can often be more successfully treated in its initial stages than when it has grown and metastasized. Self exams … Read more
Drug resistance is one of the major obstacles to successful cancer treatment — so scientists are looking at ways to overcome this obstacle.
Brain tumors are graded on a scale of 1 to 4, based on how malignant, or cancerous, they are, in an effort to anticipate the tumor’s likely growth rate. A grade of 1 is the least malignant, and is considered low-grade, while 4 is the most malignant and considered high-grade.
Susan Johnson was diagnosed with a rare, slow-growing brain tumor in 1992. More than 25 years later, Susan is living with cancer — thanks to the chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and clinical trials that have kept her tumor at bay.