‘Watchful Waiting’ for Lymphoma: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been diagnosed with slow-growing lymphoma but don’t have any symptoms of the disease, your doctor is likely to recommend monitoring the disease closely but not treating it until symptoms appear — an approach known as watchful waiting. This advice might seem to run counter to the standard recommendation that cancer be treated at … Continued

Approval of Myeloma Drug Improves Patients’ Prospects

Five years into his treatment for multiple myeloma, Mark Young was attending a Dana-Farber conference to learn about the latest research in the disease when his oncologist — Paul Richardson, MD, clinical program leader and director of clinical research at the Institute’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center — came running up with some timely news. … Continued

Transplant Program Milestone is Patient’s First Step in Returning to the Dance Floor

The first time Bill Cronin Googled his own cancer diagnosis in 2016, his heart sank. He had Sézary syndrome, a rare and aggressive form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma  — and staring back at him were countless articles predicting a negative prognosis. However, after receiving a stem-cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Cronin is … Continued

Patient and Author with Multiple Myeloma is Writing His Own Next Chapter

For many years, Thomas Palayoor and his wife, Sanjeewani, were engaged in cancer research in India. Inspired by the revolutionary advances being made in the biomedical field in the United States, they decided to move to the U.S. in 1978. Working at the medical schools of Ohio State University and Yale University, Palayoor branched off … Continued

Immunotherapy for Blood Cancers: What’s New?

Immunotherapy for cancer has made some of its biggest inroads against hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma, with treatments such as checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapies producing long-lasting remissions in some patients. But there’s broad agreement that the potential of such therapies has only begun to be tapped and that combining immunotherapy drugs … Continued

What is Mantle Cell Lymphoma and How Is It Treated?

Medically reviewed by Ann S. LaCasce, MD, MMSc Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare, often aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that involves white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which help protect the body from disease. It is named for its origins in the mantle zone — a ring of cells within the … Continued

Multiple Myeloma Fails to Keep Football Player-Turned-Broadcaster Out of Action

Many sports stars have helped support research and care at Dana-Farber by appearing on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation, but few have done so quite like pro football wide receiver-turned-broadcaster Jimmy Cefalo. When Cefalo was interviewed on-air during the August 2019 event at Fenway Park, he used the opportunity to share some … Continued

What Are the Differences Between Lymphocytic and Myelogenous Leukemia?

Medically reviewed by Martha Wadleigh, MD Leukemia arises from malfunctions in stem cells within the bone marrow that cause abnormal white blood cells to flood into the bloodstream. Leukemias are classified as either myelogenous (also called myeloid) or lymphocytic, depending on which types of white blood cells are affected. What is the difference between these types … Continued

Adult Leukemia: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Richard M. Stone, MD More than 60,000 new cases of adult leukemia are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Although it is one of the more common childhood cancers, leukemia occurs more often in older adults. How does leukemia develop in adults? Leukemia is a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues that results in large … Continued

What Are the Most Common Blood Cancers in Adults?

Medically reviewed by Ann S. LaCasce, MD, MMSc Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system, part of the body’s immune system. There are many kinds of NHL that develop from various types of white blood cells, including B cells, T cells, and NK cells. The majority … Continued

New Drug Benefits Patients With Myeloma Who Are Resistant to All Therapies

Earlier this year, a novel drug became the first agent to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for patients with multiple myeloma who have exhausted all types of currently available therapies, including proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs and monoclonal antibodies. A clinical trial found that 26.2 percent of such patients responded with significant shrinkage … Continued

Basic Research Spurs New Wave of Clinical Trials of Therapies for T-Cell Lymphoma

Medically reviewed by David M. Weinstock, MD, and Eric Jacobsen, MD By banding together to study the basic biology and vulnerabilities of T-cell lymphoma, scientists at several major cancer research centers have sparked a surge of clinical trials of promising treatments for the disease. The string of new trials, some already open, some expected to … Continued

Resistance to Targeted Leukemia Drug Lurks in Cells’ “Powerhouse”

Medically reviewed by Catherine J. Wu, MD Within every human cell, a fateful balance prevails. The mitochondria — where nutrients from food are converted into fuel for the cell — serve as a kind of jury box where pro-survival proteins contend with proteins that favor cell death. In the ebb and flow of these proteins, … Continued

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 … Continued

What Are Myelodysplastic Syndromes and How Are They Treated?

Medically reviewed by David P. Steensma, MD Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases of the blood and marrow that result in the body being unable to produce enough healthy, mature blood cells. MDS develops when the blood stem cells found in the bone marrow become injured (i.e., they acquire a mutation in the … Continued

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 … Continued