Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Finds Hope — And Passes It On

Lianne Kraemer describes two breast cancer diagnoses before age 40 — including metastatic breast cancer (MBC) that had spread to her brain — as “slamming into one brick wall, getting back on life’s highway, and then slamming into another.” Now, as she continues navigating her way with the disease, Kraemer is helping those traveling a … Read more

Multitude of Mutations Spells Susceptibility to Immunotherapy

Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that are most loaded with genetic mutations are most susceptible to immunotherapy drugs known as PD-L1 inhibitors, a new study by Dana-Farber researchers shows. The study, published recently in JAMA Oncology, can help doctors identify patients with the disease who are likely to benefit from the drugs, which foil tumors’ … Read more

Trouble Swallowing: What You Need to Know

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can come in many forms. Some people with dysphagia may experience issues in the oral phase or mouth. This is characterized by one or more of the following: holding food in the cheek without being aware of it due to weakness difficulty moving the food around the mouth leakage of … Read more

‘I’m Prouder Than Ever’: A Mom Reflects on Her Son’s Legacy

Among the most memorable on-air guests during the first WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon — a live, 36-hour broadcast held each summer to benefit Dana-Farber patient care and research — was Todd Schwartz, a 19-year-old patient in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Here, Todd’s mother, Janet Schwartz, reflects on her son’s appearance that day in 2002, his … Read more

What are Tyrosine Kinases?

Technically speaking, a tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that transfers a compound called a phosphate group from ATP — a molecule that stores energy — to a specific area on cell proteins. It helps transmit the signals that cause cells to grow and divide and to perform specific functions in the body such as burning … Read more

Study Provides First In-Depth Look at Major Mix-Ups in the Genomic Terrain of Pediatric High-Grade Glioma

Two major obstacles once stood in the way of exploring the basic biology of diffuse midline glioma in children. And one of them was the brain itself. The cancer, a subtype of high-grade glioma, forms in some of the most critical parts of the brain, in regions that control such basic functions as breathing, swallowing, … Read more

Rare but Deadly Cancer is Focus of First-Ever Conference and New Clinical Trials

With its deep experience in studying the rare, often lethal cancer known as NUT carcinoma, Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center attracts patients and families, some from far away. Unfortunately, NUT carcinoma is so rapidly aggressive that “sometimes patients get to Dana-Farber and become too sick to proceed with treatment,” which speaks to the urgent need for … Read more

Young Mother Embraces Life with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anne Keane is a big fan of counting, from laps swam to miles ran to birthdays celebrated by her daughter Ruby. The most recent was Ruby’s seventh, and Keane plans on marking many more as she continues enjoying an active lifestyle with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). “We’re just so lucky to get to wake up … Read more

Immunotherapy Helps Thyroid Cancer Patient Overcome the Odds

Mark Signer uses his voice to raise awareness about anaplastic thyroid cancer — something he thought impossible two years ago. When he was diagnosed with this highly aggressive cancer in July 2020, he was told to get his affairs in order. And when he awoke from the surgery that removed his tumor, he couldn’t speak; … Read more

Turning the Tables: How Some Melanomas Exploit the Immune Response for Their Own Survival

Like a fugitive from justice, cancer cells stake their survival on their ability to remain inconspicuous. In many cases, however, they are decked out in molecules – called tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens – that shout “cancer!” to the immune system and prompt a potent antitumor response. But tumor cells have other means of dodging an … Read more

Study Identifies T Cells That Respond Rapidly to Pre-Surgical Immunotherapy

The results of the phase 2 clinical trial would have been impressive even if they didn’t involve a particularly stubborn form of cancer. In the trial, led by Dana-Farber’s Jonathan Schoenfeld, MD, MPH, 29 patients with locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the oral cavity were treated with one or two immune checkpoint inhibitors — … Read more