Gene Therapy Halts Progression of Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy in Clinical Trial

This originally appeared on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s blog. Adrenoleukodystrophy — depicted in the 1992 movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” — is a genetic disease that most severely affects boys. Caused by a defective gene on the X chromosome, it triggers a build-up of fatty acids that damage the protective myelin sheaths of the brain’s neurons, leading to cognitive … Continued

College Student Reconnects with the Oncologist Who Saved Her Life

This post originally appeared on Thriving, the Boston Children’s Hospital blog. Anna Protsiou was 5 when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2002. She remembers pain, and fruit-scented anesthesia masks that led her to stop eating cherries. She also remembers hospital arts and crafts projects. What she barely remembers is the pediatric oncologist who saved … Continued

An Unclassified Tumor — with a Precisely Targeted Therapy

Early last year, at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jesus Apolinaris Cruz’s leg hurt so much he could barely sleep. “All day, it was constant pain,” the 13-year-old recalls. His parents took him to two local pediatricians, who examined him, drew blood, and tested his platelets. No diagnosis. Finally, in April 2016, a … Continued

What’s New in Pediatric Brain Tumor Research and Care?

Mark W. Kieran, MD, PhD, director of Pediatric Medical Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, spoke to pediatric patient families in a recent Facebook Live Webchat addressing pediatric brain tumor care. Kieran answered questions from audience members about the most common of the 300 brain tumor types that occur in children, including … Continued

Treatment of Testicular Cancer in Young Men

Although cancer most commonly occurs in older people, certain types are more likely to develop in younger individuals. One of the biggest culprits is testicular cancer, which overwhelmingly occurs in younger men, with the average age of diagnosis just 33. The incidence of testicular cancer begins to rise with the onset of puberty, and many cases develop … Continued

7 Ways Integrative Therapies Help Cancer Patients

Research has shown that integrative therapies can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve overall quality of life. These therapies range from individual treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, and Reiki, to group programs for movement, meditation, and creative arts. View the slideshow below to learn more about how integrative therapies can help cancer patients.   Visit … Continued

Finding Strength and Beauty During Annual ‘Girls Weekend’

For seventeen girls and patients at Dana-Farber Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Dana-Farber’s annual Girls Weekend – a three-day arts, shopping, and food extravaganza – is a much-needed opportunity to relax and connect with new friends who also know what it’s like to have cancer. “Being a teenager – especially when you’re a … Continued

Lymphoma Patient Gets Back on the Court Post-Treatment

For much of his 17 years, Spencer Riley has lived to play basketball. This winter, his favorite sport helped the teenager get back to life. Riley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2016 and treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center that summer. He underwent an intensive three-month treatment cycle: one week of … Continued

Do Childhood Leukemia Patients with Down Syndrome Need Modified Therapy?

Because of their increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, should ALL patients with Down syndrome receive modified treatment to minimize this risk? Or should they be given the same treatment as other children with ALL, to minimize the chance for relapse?

Improving Childhood Cancer Treatment Worldwide [Infographic]

Cancer knows no borders, and pediatric patients in low- and middle-income countries often have less access to quality care. The Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center exists to change this by improving outcomes and survival rates for children with cancer and blood disorders, regardless of their place of birth. View … Continued

What Are the Different Types of Cancer Surgery?

Cancer surgery is used to prevent, diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. It is the oldest type of cancer therapy and generally works best for solid tumors contained in one area. The goals of surgery range from diagnosing cancer to restoring the body’s appearance or function. Each cancer type has specific cancer operations that may be … Continued

Tips for Caring for Yourself after Cancer

After completing treatment, many cancer survivors wonder what their future will look like. Survivors can face a host of issues after they complete active treatment, including the long-term effects of treatment, as well as social, physical, and psychological hurdles. Here are some things to consider after your cancer treatment is complete, according to the experts … Continued

When Your Sons Are Both Diagnosed with Cancer

By Ebony Glass One day, our 2-year-old son Javon complained about a bit of pain at daycare. It seemed harmless enough. But after a visit to the pediatrician, we ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. There, they discovered that a mass in his body was causing the pain. “Cancer?” we feared, but it was … Continued

The Loss of a Child: Stories from Three Bereaved Parents

As told to Sue Morris, PsyD As director of Dana-Farber’s Bereavement Program, I regularly sit with bereaved individuals, listen to their stories, and help them navigate their lives after they have been completely turned upside down. I recently spoke with three bereaved parents who are members of Dana-Farber’s Pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), … Continued

Tips for Preparing for Photopheresis

Photopheresis is a unique medical therapy that involves temporarily removing blood from a patient, mixing the blood with a medication, exposing the blood to ultraviolet (UV) light to activate the drug, and then reinfusing the blood into the patient. The technique is used to treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common and potentially severe side effect … Continued

Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients Find Success with Targeted Drug

  At first, early intervention specialists told Christi Powers that her young son’s gross motor delays and poor balance were likely the result of weak muscle tone, but when Danny developed severe headaches at age 4, she took him to the emergency room. Soon the suburban Boston boy was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma, the … Continued