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

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

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

Three-Time Cancer Survivor Becomes Two-Time Marathon Runner

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 … Continued

The Latest Advancements in Immunotherapy for Adult Leukemia

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.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy: What Does “Chimeric” Mean?

One of the most exciting new cancer treatments, CAR T-cell therapy takes its complicated name, in part, from a fire-breathing monster in an ancient Greek myth. CAR is an acronym for “chimeric antigen receptor,” referring to genetically engineered molecules manufactured in a laboratory, inserted into the genetic material of immune T cells that have been … Continued

CAR T-Cell Therapy: Is It Right For You?

CAR T-cell therapy is a cancer treatment in which a patient’s immune system T cells are genetically modified to mount a more effective attack on cancer. As of May 2018, CAR T-cell therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as standard therapy for some adult patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has relapsed after … Continued

Stem Cell Transplant Recipient Celebrates 20 Years of Life with Caregivers

Twenty years to the day after undergoing the stem cell transplant that saved him, Todd Ellison reunited with the Dana-Farber caregivers who changed his life – in more ways than one. Ellison, who was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in his early 20s, shared handshakes and “thank you” cake with his doctors Joseph Antin, … Continued

Identical Twins Share with Near Identical Cancer Diagnoses

Identical twins George and Greg Robinson have been inseparable for 57 years, from sharing a childhood bedroom and classes in school through dual Air Force stints and careers in the airline industry. Today, back in their native Cambridge, Mass., they live just a block apart and still talk several times daily. But there is one … Continued

What Are The Side Effects of CAR T-Cell Therapy?

CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy in which patients’ T cells are modified to become better at tracking down and destroying tumor cells. CAR T cells are made by extracting thousands of a patient’s T cells, sending them to a lab where they’re outfitted with genes and proteins that improve their cancer-fighting prowess, … Continued

FDA Approves New Targeted Therapies for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed off on a new targeted treatment for some patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an often aggressive disease and the most common adult acute leukemia. The FDA approved the drug Idhifa (enasidenib) specifically for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory AML who have … Continued

What Care Do I Need After a Stem Cell Transplant?

A stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving treatment for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or certain blood-related disorders. In many cases, however, transplants increase patients’ risk for an array of long-term health problems, often caused by the high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy used prior to the transplant. Dana-Farber’s Adult Stem Cell Survivorship … Continued

He Lost His Sight to Cancer, But Not His Vision of a Full Life

When Tim Conners collected his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2012 at the age of 18, he was blind from childhood leukemia that had spread to his optic nerve. A football player and wrestler who’d never been an outdoorsman, he asked to meet Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb the Seven Summits … Continued

The Latest Advances Against Hematologic Cancers

Treatment of blood-related, or hematologic, cancers is seizing on insights into the basic genetic wiring of cancer cells and the body’s system for finding and attacking those cells. Research presentations at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in December gave evidence of how broad, and rapid, the progress is. Targeted therapies, new combinations … Continued