BRCA Testing: What You Need to Know

What is the BRCA gene? BRCA1 and BRCA2 play a big role in preventing cancer. They belong to a class of genes called tumor suppressors, which ensure that breast, ovarian, and other types of cells don’t grow or divide too rapidly or uncontrollably. BRCA testing checks for mutations in either gene, and can help people decide … Read more

For Young Mom with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Clinical Trial is a Life-Saver

As head of marketing for a leading international news agency, Kelly Ives routinely worked with journalists across the globe. When it came to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), however, it was her own reporting skills that led Ives to a life-changing treatment. Ives was a 37-year-old mom with a career and three young children, including an … Read more

Study Results Support Stem Cell Transplantation for Older Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Although stem cell transplantation is the only current therapy with the potential to cure myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), it is rarely used as an initial treatment for older patients because it hasn’t been proven superior to other therapies. New research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators stands to overturn that practice. In a clinical trial involving 384 … Read more

What Causes Bone Cancer?

Cancers originating in the bone, called primary bone cancers, are rare and account for less than 1% of all cancers. There are numerous types of primary bone cancers, and in most cases, the cause isn’t known. Primary bone tumors can have changes in the DNA of the cancer cells, but those DNA changes are acquired … Read more

Researchers Set Sights on New Ovarian Cancer Treatment Strategies

Despite breakthrough treatments for high-grade serous ovarian cancer, about 80 percent of patients relapse within two years, often resistant to treatment. The good news is that Dana-Farber scientists are pursuing multiple avenues of research that very well may improve outcomes. “A number of patients develop progressive disease at a later point, potentially indicating that a … Read more

Patient-Derived Ovarian Cancer ‘Organoids’ Aid Precision Oncology Research

The time may not be far off when the treatment for a person’s ovarian cancer can be tailored to their malignancy using drugs selected by testing on “organoids” — miniature 3-D clusters of cancer cells grown from a patient’s own tumor cells. Although ovarian organoid tests are not yet being used to guide treatment decisions, … Read more

Dana-Farber Patient Benefits From ‘Growing Toolbox of Treatments’

When Dana-Farber launched its new Center for BRCA and Related Genes in August 2020, it was with patients like Janice Dolnick in mind. Dolnick’s cancer journey had already been a long one before she came to Dana-Farber for a consult in 2018. Over the previous 21 years, she’d been through two rounds of breast cancer … Read more

Tips for How Cancer Patients Can Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking during cancer treatment may seem overwhelming, but this is an especially important time to try. Active cancer patients and survivors who cut down on their cigarettes, vaping, or other nicotine use can experience a reduction in heart, stomach, and infection problems related to chemotherapy toxicity, improve their healing and breathing post-surgery, and decrease … Read more