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 … Read more

Mastocytosis: What is It and How Is It Treated?

Mastocytosis is a rare type of mast cell disorder characterized by the abnormal accumulation of mast cells in various organ systems such as the skin, liver, spleen, intestine, or bone marrow. It is one of two major types of mast cell disorders; the other major, more common type is mast cell activation syndrome. To keep … Read more

Blood Relatives: Family Bound by Love and Rare Blood Disorder

Tracy Antonelli was four when she was diagnosed with thalassemia, a rare blood disorder that occurs often enough in Mediterranean countries like Italy that an old adage, uttered only partially in jest, warns Italian-Americans against marrying other Italian-Americans. In 2002, a grown-up Antonelli wed Patrick Mooty, whose background is mostly Irish. Their three daughters – … Read more

What is a Benign Blood Disorder?

It might sound counterintuitive, but not every patient comes to Dana-Farber for cancer treatment. For example, the Institute’s experts regularly see patients seeking help with benign (non-cancerous) blood disorders. Benign blood disorders such as anemia and sickle cell disease are often treated at cancer centers because such institutions are home to experts in hematology, which … Read more