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

Doctor and Nurse Team Up for Blood Cancers Support Group

By Ronni Gordon When my year of isolation ended after a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in 2003, I looked for a blood cancer support group near my home in western Massachusetts. I found support groups for just about everyone except patients like me with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other … Continued

Q&A with Young Adult Cancer Survivor Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon, founder of Dear Jack Foundation and front man of the band Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, was diagnosed with leukemia at 22, in the midst of his musical career. Like other young adults with cancer, McMahon’s treatment affected every aspect of his life, from career to relationships and everything in between. Learn more … Continued

Do Childhood Leukemia Patients with Down Syndrome Need Modified Therapy?

Because of their increased susceptibility to the toxicities of chemotherapy, should ALL patients with Down syndrome receive modified treatment to minimize this risk? Or should they be given the same treatment as other children with ALL, to minimize the chance for relapse?

What Are the Symptoms of Leukemia?

While leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells, is one of the more common cancers in children, it occurs most frequently in older adults. More than 60,000 new cases of adult leukemia are estimated in the United States for 2016. These cancers are classified as either acute, which means the cancer is fast growing, or … Continued

Leukemia Survivor Embraces Change

For Anna Heard, the fall of 2002 was a season of change. Set to move to Boston in September to begin a master’s program at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Heard, then 29, had a routine physical in Washington, D.C., before starting the academic year. Although her bloodwork looked “a bit funny,” … Continued

Connecting with Nature and Other Patients after Leukemia

By Kathleen Barton When you get diagnosed with cancer, it kicks your butt – both the physical aspects of chemo and the general inertia that comes with this new thing you’re living with. Before my diagnosis, I was active – working, volunteering, exercising, and spending time with friends. Then some bruising and fatigue led me … Continued

83-Year-Old Leukemia Survivor is Riding High… in life and at PMC

Active in physical pursuits and a world traveler, Harry Beskind, MD, was surprised when he started feeling tired while on a bike ride in 2014. He had just returned home from a river trip to Portugal with his wife, and Beskind, then 82, was having trouble riding up hills on his bike. “I thought I was just … Continued

Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #4: The Latest Research in Multiple Myeloma and Leukemia

With new research in immunotherapy and targeted therapy, treatment options for blood cancer patients are rapidly expanding. Combination therapies have also caused much excitement among researchers and physicians, and ongoing clinical trials are continuing to look at new strategies that use multiple drugs for fighting these diseases. In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Irene Ghobrial, … Continued

Leukemia Patient Soars to Recovery

Chris Potter was not a fan of flying, until a group of pilots he had never met transported him to his life-saving care team. Potter, then 42, was struggling through a relapse of acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2011. His cancer was not responding to treatment, and he required at least a temporary remission to handle … Continued

A New Cancer Drug — in the Nick of Time

When Roy Jann was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, it never crossed his mind that he would be a model for the life-saving potential of venetoclax, a new type of cancer drug that had recently entered human testing. The first inkling that something was amiss had come a few weeks earlier, while Jann was biking … Continued

A New Class of Cancer Drug Moves Closer to Potential FDA Approval in Leukemia

Updated April 13, 2015 Venetoclax, a new type of cancer drug known as a Bcl-2 inhibitor, is showing great promise against a poor-prognosis form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and could work in other cancers as well. Venetoclax, formerly known as ABT-199, attacks the protein molecule, Bcl-2, that allows cancer cells to survive despite signals … Continued