Exceptional Immunotherapy Response Triggers Search for the Cause

Six years’ worth of repeated surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy with three different agents failed to halt the growth of Frances Zichichi’s brain tumor. As it kept recurring and more surgeries were required, Zichichi lost the use of her left side. Eventually the cancer formed masses under her scalp, causing pain, which was dulled only with … Continued

Mother and Son Support Each Other Through Each Other’s Cancer

Anne Palmer never thought she’d face a tougher challenge than aggressive breast cancer. Then, shortly after finishing treatment, she learned her 25-year-old son, Kevin, had an inoperable brain tumor. The two diagnoses, which came in 2012 and 2014, allowed mother and son – who were already close – to bond even more deeply during their … Continued

Pan-Mass Challenge Team Continues Co-Founder’s Commitment, In His Memory

Dave Mittelman died in May 2017 from brain cancer. The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) team he helped co-found, Team Lizard, will soon ride to honor him and the many other close friends and family members who have dealt with cancer. “At our core, we ride because we believe in a future without cancer,” says his wife, Michele Mittelman.

What’s On The Horizon For Brain Tumor Treatment?

Targeted therapies and immunotherapy are in a phase of discovery that is more promising than any preceding brain cancer research, according to the leaders of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology.

What Makes a Brain Tumor High-Grade or Low-Grade?

Brain tumors are graded on a scale of 1 to 4, based on how malignant, or cancerous, they are, in an effort to anticipate the tumor’s likely growth rate. A grade of 1 is the least malignant, and is considered low-grade, while 4 is the most malignant and considered high-grade.

Brain Cancer Survivor Shares Wisdom and Humor in Book

On what was supposed to be a memorable night for all the right reasons, things suddenly went terribly wrong for Marie Fricker. Arriving at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the birth of her first grandchild, she began experiencing dueling discomforts that rooted her to a bench in the front lobby: a sensation of searing heat … Continued

What’s New in Immunotherapy for Brain Tumors?

Vaccines, drugs, and modified human cells that activate the immune system against cancer have improved outcomes and prolonged lives in some types of cancer in the past few years. For patients with glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, immunotherapy has shown some promise in clinical trials — but it can’t yet be … Continued

For Mother and Son, Brain Cancer Treatment Is All In The Family

Upon learning she had brain cancer in early 2016, Connie Etheridge immediately thought, “Thank goodness it’s me, and not my children.” Then, three months later, her son Trevor, 23, found out he too had brain cancer. It was a devastating double diagnosis, but the Etheridges have been by each other’s side through check-ups, radiation, and … Continued

What Factors Increase the Risk of Brain Tumors?

In most cases, the diagnosis of a brain tumor can’t be traced to a particular cause or risk factor. As with many forms of cancer, brain tumor risk increases with age – although tumors can develop in younger people – and men have a somewhat greater risk than women. About five percent of brain tumors … Continued

A Brain Tumor Kept at Bay by Immunotherapy

It’s 19 months after being diagnosed with the aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma, and Andrew Wall is itching to go back to work as a police officer. “Sitting around is not my thing,” says Wall, 53, who hasn’t yet been cleared to return to work as a police officer in Monroe, Connecticut – a job he has … Continued

Webchat: The Latest in Brain Tumor Research and Care

In honor of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, David Reardon, MD, and Patrick Wen, MD, of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology, went live on Facebook to answer questions about brain cancer. The doctors discussed advice for brain tumor patients, answered audience questions, and described the difference between the two major categories of brain cancers—primary cancer, developed in … Continued

What Are the Most Common Brain Tumors?

The brain controls many vital bodily functions – and when a tumor grows into or presses on an area of the brain, it may stop that part of the brain from functioning normally. Nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. … Continued

How Can Exercise Help Patients with Brain Tumors?

For many brain tumor patients, surgery is an important step in the treatment process. While recovering from brain surgery can be a difficult process, your care team will help support you through treatment and guide you through the recovery process. Once a patient is cleared by their care team for walking after brain surgery, light … Continued

Do Concussions Increase the Risk of Brain Tumors?

With football season in full swing, concussions and their long- and short-term consequences promise to be in the news. While the harmful effects of repeated concussions, especially among teens and young adults, have been well documented, any links between concussions and brain cancer are less clear. Multiple studies have endeavored to see if such links … Continued

Cancer Conversations Podcast—Episode #17: The Latest in Brain Tumor Research and Treatment

Brain tumors can be among the most challenging cancers to treat. The blood-brain barrier, a natural defense mechanism that shields the brain from harm, can also prevent cancer treatments from reaching tumors. “It can be difficult to get treatments effectively into the brain,” says David Reardon, MD, clinical director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology. However, … Continued