Can Less Treatment for Colorectal Cancer Yield the Same Results? 

Colon and rectal cancer combined are the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancers.  Eighty percent of patients are diagnosed at a stage of disease when treatment is given with curative-intent.  However, treatment can have both short- and long-term side effects that may impact quality of life.   To address these concerns, investigators at Dana-Farber have led clinical … Read more

Could AI Help Doctors Predict Pancreatic Cancer? 

As a cancer imaging fellow at Dana-Farber, Michael Rosenthal, MD, PhD, spent about two years working on a radiologist’s version of paint-by-number. Together with his colleagues, he annotated 687 computed tomography (CT) scans, manually differentiating skeletal muscle from fat tissue by labelling them with different colors.   The work was part of a 2018 project to … Read more

What’s the Connection Between BRCA and Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry? 

People who inherit mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are at heightened risk for a variety of cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic. It’s estimated that one in 300-400 people in the general population carry a mutation in either of these genes. Among people of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent, the prevalence is … Read more

Colon Cancer Patient with Anxiety and Panic Disorders Finds Support — and Passes it On  

Two weeks after turning 50, Wendy Tamis Robbins learned she had stage II colon cancer. Having lived with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic disorders nearly all her life, she used the same strategies that helped her navigate these struggles to meet her cancer diagnosis head-on.  Robbins handled the ups and downs of her summer … Read more

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Pancreatic cancer often eludes early detection because symptoms typically don’t surface until the disease is well established. This makes it important to respond appropriately to warning signs, even though some may be vague or caused by another health condition. What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer? Most symptoms of pancreatic cancer are caused when tumors … Read more

New Targeted Treatments Emerge For Gastric and Esophageal Cancer 

For years, patients with advanced forms of gastric and esophageal cancer have had relatively few treatment options. Most patients with inoperable tumors would receive chemotherapy, usually a combination of fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and leucovorin (known as FOLFOX). While this regimen is often effective, patients eventually develop resistance to the treatment and their tumors progress. Now, the … Read more

Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Patients Advocate Education and Early Screening 

For close to a year, Melanie Spears had been experiencing abdominal pain and constipation. As an Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan, she was used to pushing through adversity — so she tweaked her diet and dealt with what doctors diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. Only after microscopic blood samples in her stool led … Read more

HAI Pumps for Advanced Colorectal Cancer: What You Need to Know

Researchers in the late 1970s wanted to address challenges with a chemotherapy drug called floxuridine. It’s a form of chemotherapy invented in the 1950s that turns into its active form, 5-fluorouracil, or 5-FU, when metabolized.   One challenge is that 5-FU has off-target effects, meaning it can damage healthy organs when given throughout the body. In … Read more

Treatment Advances and Perfect Partners Give Pancreatic Cancer Patient ‘Gift of Time’

After losing her first husband of 30 years to cancer, Candace “Candy” Langford felt blessed to find love again. And when she learned six weeks after her June 2018 wedding that she had locally advanced pancreatic cancer, shock blended with sorrow — because she knew her new life partner had also been down that road … Read more

Research Into Cellular Recycling System Reveals New Vulnerability in Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer cells operate a recycling program that would be the envy of any municipality — but the only beneficiaries are the cells themselves. All cells in the body recycle minerals and nutrients, removing them from storage and breaking them down them for re-use. But in cancer cells, this process, known as autophagy — literally, … Read more

Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist Stays On the Job With Colorectal Cancer

As a pediatric pharmacist located in Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, Patrick never tires of seeing smiling, young cancer patients enjoying the clinic’s playroom. The resilience they display throughout infusions, blood draws, and other procedures not only inspires him, but it also serves as a source of resolve he carries into his ongoing cancer care. Patrick, … Read more

Team Beyond Colorectal Cancer Members Ensure Another Excellent Jimmy Fund Walk

The team representing Dana-Farber’s Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center called Team Beyond CRC (colorectal cancer) is looking forward to the fast-approaching Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai taking place on Sunday, October 2. Team Beyond CRC will be among 90 other employee-led teams participating in the Jimmy Fund Walk. This longtime annual event brings … Read more

Trouble Swallowing: What You Need to Know

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can come in many forms. Some people with dysphagia may experience issues in the oral phase or mouth. This is characterized by one or more of the following: holding food in the cheek without being aware of it due to weakness difficulty moving the food around the mouth leakage of … Read more