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
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
Life is like a Mad-Lib, and Jennifer White is taking control of what she can fill in the blank spaces. The Atlanta-based cyber security consultant was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in January 2019. In July of that same year, White, a Boston native, came to Dana-Farber. She currently comes to Boston four times … Read more
Cancer cells have a bias toward survival, often becoming heavily reliant on certain protein pathways to sustain themselves. Scientists are finding ways to turn that survival instinct into a liability — by making the cells even more dependent on those pathways, then choking the pathways off. It’s an approach that has now yielded a promising … Read more
Treatment for acute forms of adult leukemia has advanced markedly since the days when all patients generally received the same course of treatment. A patient’s age and overall health, the type of leukemia he or she has, and the goal of therapy all influence the treatment plan. What are the types of acute leukemia? There … Read more
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a novel targeted drug to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in older patients, a segment of the blood cancer population in dire need of improved therapies. In a phase 3 clinical trial, researchers showed that the oral drug, venetoclax (or Venclexta), when given along with azacitidine, could … Read more
Tim O’Neill likes to keep moving — whether on his boat, his motorcycle, in his running shoes, or while steering an RV across 47 states. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has failed to stop him from these pursuits, and he’s determined not to let a pandemic do so either. “I’m more careful these days because of … Read more
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 … Read more
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 numbers of abnormal or immature white blood … Read more
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, … Read more
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 … Read more
Family is the most important part of Michelle Nagel’s life. When she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in May 2007, her mind instantly went to her children; all she wanted was to see them grow up and have children of their own. When she learned of her condition, Nagel and her family … Read more
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 … Read more
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 … Read more
Many of the drugs that have become mainstays of cancer treatment are based on antibodies — artificial proteins that latch onto a molecular target called an antigen. When an antibody binds to an antigen on a cancer cell, it attacks the cell or triggers its destruction by immune system process. A relatively new twist on … Read more
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 … Read more
This was not how she expected her first marathon to go. 15.5 miles into the race, Mary Shertenlieb stood shivering in the lobby of a Dunkin’ Donuts. For hours, the three-time cancer survivor had been battling driving rains, punishing winds, and unrelenting cold weather in order to cross the finish line of the 2018 Boston … Read more
Although it is a recognizable cancer in name, there are still many different myths and misconceptions about leukemia. We discuss some of the most common ones.
As scientists have learned more about the intricate workings of the immune system, they’ve developed new forms of immunotherapy that have been approved for the treatment of leukemia or are being clinically tested in patients.
Recent drug approvals collectively mark a new era in the treatment of adults with these diseases, scientists say.