New Options for First-Line Treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Brown, MD Most patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) now have several options for first-line therapy, thanks to new clinical trial results and novel targeted agents. Many patients with CLL, a slowly progressive blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells, don’t need immediate treatment but … Read more

What Are Precursor Blood Conditions and How Are They Treated? [Updated 2019]

Precursor conditions are early phases of blood diseases that may develop into cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, and multiple myeloma. Most people do not experience symptoms, and since doctors rarely screen for precursor conditions, they are often diagnosed after routine blood tests. “Many diagnoses are purely incidental,” says Irene Ghobrial, MD, co-principal investigator … Read more

New study exposes key vulnerability of rare pediatric kidney tumor, reveals potential treatment

Andrew Hong, MD, knows the toll of rare childhood cancers all too well. As a pediatric oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, he’s cared for a number of children who develop unusual, aggressive cancer. One teenager with a deadly type of kidney cancer called renal medullary carcinoma (RMC) left a particularly deep … Read more

How Has Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers Advanced Recently?

Scientists have made numerous gains recently in treating gastrointestinal malignancies, which include cancers of the colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, liver, esophagus, and related tissues. Some advances are reflected in the approval of new drug therapies or changing practice to use existing drugs more effectively. In other cases, protocols are being revised to reduce toxic … Read more

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy: What Does “Chimeric” Mean?

One of the most exciting new cancer treatments, CAR T-cell therapy takes its complicated name, in part, from a fire-breathing monster in an ancient Greek myth. CAR is an acronym for “chimeric antigen receptor,” referring to genetically engineered molecules manufactured in a laboratory, inserted into the genetic material of immune T cells that have been … Read more

What’s New in Treatment of Adult Histiocytic Disorders?

While blood cancers known as adult histiocytic disorders are very rare and many patients do well with today’s treatments, researchers are working to improve outcomes with therapies targeted to newly discovered mutations – and they are about to begin testing immunotherapies, too. Histiocytic disorders involved overproduction of immune white cells, histiocytes, that attack tissues in … Read more

Catch Me if You Can: Finding Cancer Cells that Hide in Plain Sight

In the high-stakes contest of hide-and-seek between cancer cells and the human immune system, the advantage doesn’t always lie with the body’s defenders. A new approach to treatment, known as CAR T-cell therapy, may shift that balance of power. Cancer cells conceal themselves from the immune system not by barricading themselves in an impenetrable shell, … Read more

Meet the Researcher: Bruce Spiegelman

Cancer patients often lose weight during treatment, which can limit their ability to withstand treatment and their quality of life. How can we fix this – and what role does energy metabolism play in cancer, and health overall? Those are the questions researcher Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, and his team at Dana-Farber are focused on answering. … Read more