Clinical Trial of New Targeted Agent a Boon for Patient With AML 

When Youling Sun was diagnosed in Shanghai, China, with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2018, he called his son, Conghao, in Boston, for advice. His son’s message was unequivocal: Come to Boston for your treatment.  Today, Sun, a retired office worker from Shanghai, has multiple reasons to be thankful he took that advice — both … Read more

What is Protein Degradation? 

Protein degradation is a natural process by which cells break down proteins that are damaged or no longer needed so they can be recycled or disposed of.  Scientists at Dana-Farber and elsewhere are harnessing this process to destroy specific proteins involved in cancer, an approach known as targeted protein degradation. In contrast to traditional targeted … Read more

Clinical Trials for Patients with Cancer 

Clinical trials are scientific studies in which new treatments — drugs, diagnostic procedures, and other therapies — are tested in people to find out if they are safe and effective. Nearly all cancer drugs in use today were tested in clinical trials.  If you have been diagnosed with cancer, the benefits of participating in a clinical … Read more

Things to Know About NUT Carcinoma 

What is NUT carcinoma?  NUT carcinoma, formerly known as NUT-midline carcinoma, is a rare but very aggressive cancer that can develop anywhere in the body but usually starts in the head, neck, and lungs. It’s a squamous cell cancer — meaning it begins in squamous cells, which line hollow organs such as the windpipe and … Read more

What You Should Know About Alcohol Consumption and Cancer Risk 

A growing body of research points to a connection between alcohol consumption and elevated cancer risk. Studies from the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that having even less than one drink a day, of any kind of alcohol, increases the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, esophageal, liver, stomach, mouth, … Read more

ChatGPT and Medicine: The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre 

The artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT has wowed users with its seemingly human-like ability to generate and respond to language, and worried others by that very same ability. Like virtually every technological innovation that has come before — from the telephone to refrigeration to plastics — ChatGPT is sure to find uses in medicine. People are … Read more

What’s the Connection Between BRCA and Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry? 

People who inherit mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are at heightened risk for a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic. It’s estimated that one in 300-400 people in the general population carry a mutation in either of these genes. Among people of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent, the prevalence is … Read more

What Is ctDNA?

Like a mill crumbling into a river, solid tumors constantly shed bits of themselves — including their DNA — into the bloodstream. This free-floating genetic material, known as circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA, contains a trove of information about the tumor.  Advances in technology have made it possible to extract ctDNA from a blood sample, … Read more

Patient is First at Dana-Farber to Undergo Outpatient Stem Cell Transplant for Myeloma 

In most ways, Bill Ross’s stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center (DFBCC) wasn’t out of the ordinary. He received chemotherapy to destroy the tumor cells in his body and then an infusion of his own hematopoietic stem cells, which flocked to his bone marrow and regenerated his blood supply. Over … Read more

Research Drives Key Protein from the Shadows to Reveal Its Role in Breast Cancer Subtype 

In a branch of the PI3K protein family — with members named PI3Kα, PI3Kβ, PI3Kδ, and PI3Kγ — PI3Kβ was long treated as the proverbial middle child: neglected by cancer scientists in favor of its more prominent siblings.  In a new study, Dana-Farber researchers demonstrate that it doesn’t deserve its obscurity — that in fact … Read more