How Dana-Farber Investigators Seize Opportunities to Advance Medicine

Investigators who run investigator-initiated trials (IITs) have two essential qualities. One is curiosity, which keeps them alert, aware of discoveries, and able to make connections that lead to new treatment ideas.   The second is determination.   “The burden of responsibility for what is typically a many-year-long study falls on that one investigator,” says Ursula Matulonis, MD, … Read more

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, Mother is Given a Chance to Raise Her Son 

Just over a year after giving birth to her son, Emmett, Abigail Myers faced a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer in March 2014.   It started when Myers woke up one morning feeling sore. When she found a lump, she rushed to her doctor, all the while in disbelief that she might have cancer.  A resident … Read more

Breast Cancer Patient Achieves Her Dreams Thanks to Dana-Farber Care 

When Jennifer Fullerton was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, her mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario. “I thought I was going to die. That first day all I could think was ‘why me,’” Fullerton says. “My mom very poignantly told me, ‘Today you can say ‘why me,’ but tomorrow, ‘why not me’. And you … Read more

Young Mother Embraces Life with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anne Keane is a big fan of counting, from laps swam to miles ran to birthdays celebrated by her daughter Ruby. The most recent was Ruby’s seventh, and Keane plans on marking many more as she continues enjoying an active lifestyle with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). “We’re just so lucky to get to wake up … Read more

Study Reveals Factors Influencing Success of An Immunotherapy Treatment

Understanding why immunotherapies are highly effective in some patients but fail in many others is one of the top priorities in cancer research — and one of the most challenging puzzles. A research team led by Catherine J. Wu, MD, has uncovered some previously unknown molecular factors affecting donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), a form of … Read more

Implantable Device Helps Predict Drug Therapy Efficacy

Dana-Farber investigators recently launched a trial of a miniature device that can be implanted into ovarian tumors to deliver microdoses of different drugs, with the goal of rapidly measuring their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. The researchers hope the method could shorten the time needed to determine if a drug is helping a patient, and … Read more

Patient-Derived Ovarian Cancer ‘Organoids’ Aid Precision Oncology Research

The time may not be far off when the treatment for a person’s ovarian cancer can be tailored to their malignancy using drugs selected by testing on “organoids” — miniature 3-D clusters of cancer cells grown from a patient’s own tumor cells. Although ovarian organoid tests are not yet being used to guide treatment decisions, … Read more

Cracking the Case of an Attorney’s HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Joy Albi has encountered plenty of surprises during her long career as a defense attorney, but she was still caught off-guard when her HER2-positive breast cancer diagnosis took an unexpected twist last year. The way things turned out, however, made her appreciative for the new evidence revealed in her case. Albi, a Cincinnati resident, had … Read more

What is a Lumpectomy?

There are many different treatment options available for breast cancer, including a type of surgery called a lumpectomy. While surgery can be anxiety-inducing, rest assured that lumpectomies are extremely safe and usually take no more than an hour. Here, Anna Weiss, MD, a breast surgeon in the Breast Oncology Program at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber/Brigham … Read more

Cancer Patient Faces Multiple Diagnoses with the Strength of a Warrior

One bout of cancer is enough to contend with, but since 2014 Mary Johnson has had to cope with four different cancers and related conditions. Despite these tests of her physical and emotional strength, Johnson is doing well today after treatment at Dana-Farber. “Coming to Dana-Farber gave me confidence because they supported me, and I … Read more

Focus is On Safety and Solidarity For Cancer Patients During COVID-19

Gina Solomon was in her office on March 10, worrying about the growing coronavirus pandemic, when the phone rang with news that quickly and dramatically shifted her concerns. Solomon, 55, learned she had HER2-positive breast cancer, a subtype of the disease that was as unfamiliar to her as COVID-19. In that instant, she went from … Read more

For Breast Cancer Patient, Positivity Is Everything

On a sunny July afternoon, Michelle Lemieux ran onto the field at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during a Boston Red Sox home game. While the crowd of over 36,000 people continued to applaud as Lemieux ran back to her family, only a handful in attendance could truly appreciate what she … Read more

Scientists Identify Genes Tied to Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Medically reviewed by Alexander Gusev, PhD A team of Dana-Farber scientists and their associates has identified 34 genes associated with an increased risk of developing earliest-stage ovarian cancer. The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, will both help identify women who have the highest risk of developing ovarian cancer and pave the way for identifying … Read more

Gynecologic Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Kevin Elias, MD Today, cervical cancer is the only type of gynecologic cancer for which there is a routine screening test. The lack of such tests for endometrial and ovarian cancer — the most common gynecologic cancers — makes it especially important that women and their doctors be attuned to the symptoms … Read more

Facing Ovarian Cancer, a Doctor Becomes the Patient

By Luisa Stigol, MD, FAAP I was a 74-year-old pediatrician in practice with a multi-specialty group associated with Boston Children’s Hospital. Forty years after becoming a doctor, I still loved learning new things and sharing them with my patients. Then I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — and suddenly, a big wall separated me from … Read more