Specially Equipped Natural Killer Cells Show Promise Against Form of AML

CAR T cells’ superpower is to identify cancer-related targets on the surface of tumor cells and order an attack on those cells. But they lack anything resembling X-ray vision to detect nefarious protein targets within tumor cells. That shortfall has limited their effectiveness in diseases like acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), in which tumor cells display few surface … Read more

Advances in Myeloma, Breast Cancer, and Clinical Trials Equity: A Dana-Farber Research Update

Results of several phase 3 trials and dozens of other studies led by Dana-Farber researchers were presented online and in person June 3-7 at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest clinical cancer research meeting. Some of the research reports presented by Dana-Farber investigators include: Improved progression-free … Read more

Stem Cell Transplant Gives MDS Patient a Second Chance at Life

Every year, Nancy Demers celebrates two birthdays. The first marks the day she was born: August 6, 1943. The second — March 20, 2015 — is the day the then-71-year-old Connecticut resident received a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and the start of a healthy new life. Eighteen months prior, in September … Read more

Earlier Use of CAR T-Cell Therapy Approved for Relapsed Large B-cell Lymphoma Patients

Patients with large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL) who did not respond to initial treatment or relapsed within a year may now receive the CAR T-cell product axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) as a second-line therapy, following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on results of a recent clinical trial. Until now, the standard of … Read more

Seeking Stem Cell Transplant, Basketball Expert Makes Slam Dunk Decision

As an economist specializing in statistical analysis, Dan Rosenbaum has done everything from help the federal government use more evidence in its decision-making to assist several National Basketball Association (NBA) teams in finding and signing the best players. Research and number-crunching are his expertise, so when Rosenbaum learned he needed a life-saving stem cell transplant … Read more

High School Basketball Coach has a New Perspective on Life After a Successful Stem Cell Transplant

For Duane Witter, the most difficult part of his cancer treatment was recovering from his stem cell transplant and having to step away from teaching and coaching high school basketball in Farmington, CT. “Before all this, I used to say that my superpower was to never miss a day of school,” he says. “Stepping away … Read more

Research Sheds More Light on Mechanisms Causing Rare Leukemia BPDCN

A rare leukemia called BPDCN (blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm) is three to four times more common in people with one X chromosome, for reasons that hadn’t been clear. Now, however, research led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists has identified a genetic factor that appears to explain a large part of the discrepancy, and also … Read more

For Sisters, Myeloma Study is a Promise Kept

At Carolyn Kershaw and Darlene Musso’s first visit to Dana-Farber in July, Irene Ghobrial, MD, greeted them with some unexpected news. “We walked in and she said, ‘Did you know you two are famous in our lab?’” Kershaw recounts. Their local renown stems from their participation in the PROMISE study at Dana-Farber’s Center for the Prevention of Progression (CPOP), which … Read more

Venetoclax Added to Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Type of Leukemia

Adding the BCL-2 inhibitor drug venetoclax to a combination chemotherapy regimen significantly improved outcomes in Richter’s syndrome, a rare but deadly complication that develops in some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a study led by Dana-Farber investigators. The addition of the targeted drug venetoclax to a chemo regimen called R-EPOCH yielded the … Read more

Targeted Drug Found Effective as Initial Treatment for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia

When a clinical trial showed the targeted drug ibrutinib to be highly effective in patients with a form of lymphoma called Waldenström macroglobulinemia, the results were so compelling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for all patients with the disease, even though the trial included only patients previously treated with other … Read more

Anti-Microbial Drug Targets Key Driver of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Dana-Farber scientists have found that a generic anti-microbial drug can block a key molecular driver of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, and when tested in a small clinical trial of advanced CLL patients who had relapsed, the drug slowed disease progression in half of them. The drug, pyrimethamine, achieved stable disease in eight of the … 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 is the Role of Genetics in Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

Studies in large populations have shown that people who have a near relative with a form of lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have an increased risk of developing these diseases themselves. Both lymphoma and CLL are relatively uncommon: the average person’s lifetime risk of developing CLL, for example, is 0.57%, according to the American … Read more