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

Grandfather Gets Back to Life and Nature after CAR T-Cell Therapy for Lymphoma

Jerry Jalbert is always up for new adventures. He did not expect that non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) would be one of them, but with the help of CAR T-cell therapy that keeps his cancer at bay, the 73-year-old professional photographer-turned-baker-turned-forest checkpoint operator is continuing to enjoy life’s many journeys alongside his wife, Ethel. “We are not … Continued

For Father with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, CAR T-Cell Therapy Saves Memories and More

In May 2018, Tyler Goodwin underwent CAR T-cell therapy for follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). While he was having preparatory chemotherapy for the procedure, a surprise visitor to his hospital bedside provided a powerful reminder of why this promising new cancer treatment was so important to him. “It was my daughter Theresa, all made up for … Continued

New Study Reports “Curative Potential” of a Combination Therapy for Some Leukemia Patients

Medically reviewed by Matthew Davids, MD, MMSc Chemoimmunotherapy combined with a targeted drug given for two years has achieved undetectable minimal residual disease (MRD) for a high proportion of younger patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Dana-Farber scientists report. The phase 2 clinical trial results are so favorable that they represent a step toward “a … Continued

Study Finds Advantage for African Americans with Multiple Myeloma

In a surprising rebuttal of previous findings, a new study shows that African Americans with multiple myeloma have an overall higher survival rate than Caucasians with the disease when all patients have equal access to cutting-edge therapies. The results raise questions about the biology of this type of cancer. Multiple myeloma, a cancer that arises … Continued

Hodgkin Lymphoma: The Latest in Treatment and Research

Medically reviewed by Philippe Armand, MD, PhD, and Margaret A. Shipp, MD Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a cancer that begins in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which play a significant role in the body’s immune system against disease. There have been major advances in the treatment of the disease in the past several years. A … Continued

Standing up Against Multiple Myeloma Starts with a PROMISE

In 2011, Diane Dike, PhD, lost her mother to complications from multiple myeloma — a cancer of the bone marrow involving plasma cells. The pair were always close, and even share the same birthday: October 23. The illness and death of her mother was extremely difficult for the whole family, Dike says. One of the most … Continued

Hodgkin Lymphoma Patient Aims to Lessen Cancer Stigma

Chloe Svolos is a social butterfly. When she isn’t working in the fundraising office for Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund, the 26-year-old is spending time with family, going out with friends, hanging out with her boyfriend, Luke, or traveling. She also recently completed treatment for lymphoma — so she’s still adjusting to her “new normal.” But in … Continued

For Stem Cell Recipient, Meeting Donor Proves Fruitful Experience

As a fruit and vegetable farmer, Douglas Young measures his life’s work by the seasons. Since receiving a stem cell transplant for his rare blood cancer, he has been able to enjoy more harvests than he once thought possible — inspiring him to seek out the stranger responsible for saving his life. In spring 2019, … Continued

What is the Difference Between B-cell Lymphoma and T-cell Lymphoma?

Medically reviewed by Eric Jacobsen, MD Lymphoma comes from a type of immune cell called a lymphocyte, which is important in helping your body fight infection. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes (B-cell) and T lymphocytes (T-cell), and each has a slightly different function in the immune system. Each can also give … Continued

What Does a Lymphoma Lump Feel Like?

Medically reviewed by Eric Jacobsen, MD One symptom of lymphoma can be the development of lumps under the skin, usually in the neck, armpit, or groin. The lumps have a rubbery feel and are usually painless. Not all such lumps are a sign of lymphoma, but when they occur at these sites, it’s advisable to … Continued

What is the Difference Between Gene Therapy and Immunotherapy?

Gene therapy and immunotherapy are both types of treatment for cancer and other diseases, and they have some points at which they intersect. But ultimately they represent different approaches to disease therapy. Most diseases aren’t caused by a single mutant gene — an alteration in the DNA sequence — but some mainly rare, inherited disorders, … Continued

New therapies spark leap in treatment of AML in adults

In just over a year, the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in adult patients has undergone something of a revolution. Since mid-2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved nine new targeted therapies for the disease, in contrast to none during the previous 12 years. The approvals amount to a “game-changer for how … Continued

How are bispecific antibodies being used to treat blood cancers?

Many of the immunotherapy drugs that are transforming the treatment of certain types of cancer are based on antibodies — artificial proteins that latch onto a molecular target, called an antigen. Bispecific antibodies, which can bind to two antigens at the same time, are being tested and moving toward clinical use in some blood cancers. … Continued

Study Uncovers Dual Gene-Control System in Multiple Myeloma

The process of converting genetic information from DNA to RNA, known as transcription, is a joint undertaking. Sections of DNA, known as promoters, collaborate with other sections known as enhancers to recast the genetic code into a form that can be used by cells to make proteins. As with many partnerships, however, it hasn’t been … Continued

5 Tips for Reducing Scanxiety

Irritability, sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and nausea are common symptoms many patients experience when preparing for an upcoming exam. This feeling of apprehension and discomfort is called scanxiety, which aptly refers to the anxiety or worry patients often feel before undergoing a scan or receiving the results of an examination. “Anxiety often comes when … Continued

Researchers Making Headway on Treatment for Rare Blood Cancer

It began with some skin spots on his back and a lump on his knee that he thought was just a bruise from a golfing injury. After a series of exams and a biopsy, David Tracy, 74, of Waterford, Conn., finally learned he had a very rare and puzzling blood cancer that didn’t even have … Continued

Multiple Myeloma Patient Committed to Persevering

Russ Horn went to work every day as a firefighter for almost 30 years. But now he has a new job—one that takes the same courage, hard work, and perseverance required in his last role. In 2014, Horn, then 50, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma—a cancer of plasma cells—after a minor slip at work sent … Continued