What is an Atypical Mole?

Atypical moles are irregular moles that can appear anywhere on the body. They are more commonly found on people with fair skin, as well as those with many freckles and moles on the body (more than 50). What do atypical moles look like? In order to spot atypical moles or something more serious, dermatologists recommend … Read more

Study Identifies Genes That Help Drive Growth in Melanoma Subtypes

Favoritism or impartiality? Do the four genomic subtypes of melanoma have a bias toward certain mutated genes and gene pathways, or do they welcome all mutations equally? Answering that question has been especially difficult because of cutaneous melanoma’s high mutation rate — the profusion of misspelled, severed, out-of-place, missing-in-action, or overabundant genes found in melanoma … Read more

Unusual Case Reveals How Some Tumors Resist Immunotherapy

The intriguing case of a man with melanoma tumors that responded in different ways to the same checkpoint-blocking drug has yielded an important clue to the causes of resistance to immunotherapy treatments, according to Dana-Farber researchers. The findings could help guide the use of immunotherapy in individual patients. The 74-year-old patient, described in a report … Read more

Eye Cancer and Ocular Melanoma: What You Need to Know

Eye cancer is caused by uncontrollable cell growth in the eye. While an eye cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, there are treatment options. An oncologist can discuss these options with you and work with you to determine your best care plan. According to the American Cancer Society, eye cancer can form in the three major … Read more

Melanoma: What It Is, How to Spot It, and Treatment Options

Medically reviewed by F. Stephen Hodi, MD Melanoma is a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer that originates in melanocytes, the cells that create pigment (melanin) to protect us from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Melanoma is categorized into one of three subtypes, depending on its location: Cutaneous melanoma: Melanoma of the skin. Common affected areas … Read more

For Scientist-Turned-Melanoma Patient, Immunotherapy Treatment is Precisely Right

Jen Mancuso’s analytical mind has served her well during her career as a biochemist and information technology expert. Thinking like a diagnostician has also allowed her to remain upbeat while facing the greatest challenge of her life: stage IV melanoma. A wife and mother of two pre-teen daughters, Mancusco, 41, says she appreciates the intricacies … Read more

Cancer Treatment: A Look at How It Has Evolved in 70 Years

In 1947, when Dana-Farber Cancer Institute founder Sidney Farber, MD, set out to find a drug treatment for childhood leukemia, cancer treatment took two forms – surgery to cut out cancerous masses, and radiation therapy to burn them out. Cancers that couldn’t be removed or irradiated – either because of their position in the body, because … Read more

Is There a Connection between Cancer Medications and Increased Sunburn Risk?

By Nicole LeBoeuf, MD, MPH, clinical director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Cutaneous Oncology  While many people know that traditional chemotherapy drugs can increase sensitivity to the sun, some of the newer targeted therapies do as well. In fact, the risk of sun-related skin damage may be even higher with certain targeted drugs than with chemotherapy agents. … Read more