New Strategy Aims to ‘Soften Up’ Tumors for Attack by Natural Killer Cells

Scientists are stepping up efforts to deploy natural killer (NK) cells — the body’s first responders against infected and malignant cells — to combat cancer. Treatment using NK cells from healthy donors has shown promise, but currently successes have been limited and the cells lack staying power in the body. While some researchers are working … Read more

Specially Equipped Natural Killer Cells Show Promise Against Form of AML

CAR T cells’ superpower is to identify cancer-related targets on the surface of tumor cells and order an attack on those cells. But they lack anything resembling X-ray vision to detect nefarious protein targets within tumor cells. That shortfall has limited their effectiveness in diseases like acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), in which tumor cells display few surface … Read more

Researchers Discover Mechanism Linking Mutations in the ‘Dark Matter’ of the Genome to Cancer

For many years, the human genome was viewed as a book of life in which sections of great eloquence and economy of expression were interspersed with vast stretches of gibberish. The legible sections contained the code for making cell proteins; the other regions, representing about 90% of the entire genome, were dismissed as “junk DNA,” … Read more

Advances in Myeloma, Breast Cancer, and Clinical Trials Equity: A Dana-Farber Research Update

Results of several phase 3 trials and dozens of other studies led by Dana-Farber researchers were presented online and in person June 3-7 at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest clinical cancer research meeting. Some of the research reports presented by Dana-Farber investigators include: Improved progression-free … Read more

Pediatric Neuroblastoma Patient Takes Long Road to Care

Most teenagers can’t wait to grow up. At 19, Sara Almheiri was initially deemed too old — at least by the physicians who first diagnosed her with cancer. Complaining of terrible bellyaches that baffled doctors in her native Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sara had traveled in late 2016 to South Korea, … Read more

Stem Cell Transplant Gives MDS Patient a Second Chance at Life

Every year, Nancy Demers celebrates two birthdays. The first marks the day she was born: August 6, 1943. The second — March 20, 2015 — is the day the then-71-year-old Connecticut resident received a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and the start of a healthy new life. Eighteen months prior, in September … Read more

Study Overturns Dogma About Cell Division; Could Unlock New Cancer Drug Target

The cells in our body replicate themselves in a tightly regulated series of steps and molecular checkpoints that act as gatekeepers. A set of proteins called cell cycle kinases, including CDK1, CDK4, and CDK6, control various phases and timing of the process so that cells divide and replicate only when needed, and under strict control. … Read more

Patient with Lung Cancer Participates in ‘Practice-Changing’ Immunotherapy Research

Every school day, when Mike James walks into work at Boston Adult Technical Academy (BATA), he sees an inspiring sign painted by the students: Together, We Can. That philosophy lifted James up after he was diagnosed with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer in August 2019. James leaned on his support network of coworkers, his family, … Read more

Study Opens Door to Cancer Research in the ‘Dark Matter’ of the Genome

When a dam collapses because of a design flaw, tracing the error to the original blueprint is a relatively straightforward matter. When the breach happens for another reason — shoddy workmanship, insufficient oversight during construction, a failure to follow design specifications, or any of a range of other possibilities — the investigation can be much … Read more

Young Colorectal Cancer Patient Works with Care Team to Reduce Risk of Recurrence

At 43, Erick Eigner was leading a healthy and fulfilling life: spending time with family, working in marketing at Microsoft, and hitting the gym six days a week. Cancer was the last thing he was thinking about when he went to the doctor for a physical and mentioned some concerns he had about swallowing. The … Read more

Patient Participates in Clinical Trial Leading to Approval of CAR T-Cell Therapy for Form of Lymphoma

When lab tests confirmed that her non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) had recurred after treatment, Ann Bonetti came to Dana-Farber expecting to hear she would need a stem cell transplant. When her oncologist told her about a clinical trial of a treatment that would turn her body’s own T cells into ace cancer fighters, she didn’t need … Read more

CNS Lymphoma Survivor Stays on Call with Immunotherapy

Stephan Bunker has learned to be prepared for anything during a half-century protecting others as a soldier, volunteer firefighter, law enforcement official, and director of 911 dispatchers for the state of Maine. So when Bunker was the one facing an emergency — a diagnosis of a brain cancer known as primary central nervous system (CNS) … Read more

What is Cardiac Angiosarcoma?

One of the rarest of rare cancers, cardiac angiosarcoma is a tumor of the heart that has gained some notoriety because it caused the death of fashion designer Virgil Abloh in 2021 at the age of only 41. Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and the founder of his own brand, Off-White, lived … Read more