ctDNA: Bringing ‘liquid biopsies’ to pediatric solid tumors

This post originally appeared on Vector, Boston Children’s Hospital’s blog. Our blood carries tiny amounts of DNA from broken-up cells. If we have cancer, some of that DNA comes from tumor cells. Studies performed with adult cancers have shown that this circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) may offer crucial clues about tumor genetic mutations and how … Continued

New Research Effort Aims to Improve Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease

Emmanuel “Manny” Johnson, Jr., shares many loves with his little brother, Aiden—from basketball to video games. One thing he wishes they did not share is sickle cell disease (SCD), so Manny is playing a role in a new effort to improve treatment for patients like seven-year-old Aiden, himself, and others living with the inherited blood … Continued

What is Wilms Tumor and How Is It Treated?

Wilms tumor is the most common type of pediatric kidney cancer. It is most common in children age five and younger, but it can also occur from infancy to age 15. As with any cancer, the tumor can spread beyond its initial location. What are the causes and symptoms of Wilms tumor? Occasionally, a child … Continued

Can Neuroblastoma Be Inherited?

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in nerve cells. It frequently begins in the adrenal glands; it may also originate in nerve tissue along the spine and show up as masses in the neck, chest, abdomen, or spine. It is the most common cancer in babies and the third most common cancer in children. Ninety … Continued

What is Interventional Radiology for Pediatric Cancer Patients?

Interventional radiology offers a set of minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for certain diseases, such as cancer. This subspecialty in interventional radiology is also known as interventional oncology. These procedures can be alternative options to open biopsies and surgeries, and are typically shorter, relatively less risky and associated with faster recovery. Interventional … Continued

What Parents Should Know About Genetic Cancer Risk

If your child could be at risk for cancer, the sooner you discover that risk, the more you can do to prevent cancer or catch it in an early stage. Not every child needs to be tested, so it’s important to learn what genetic testing is and whether it’s the right decision for you and … Continued

Sajni Walks Among the Stars: A Parent’s Perspective

This post originally appeared on Thriving, Boston Children Hospital’s pediatric health blog. Our daughter Sajni Chakrabarti was only 7 and a half years old when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer—diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)—and given only nine months to live. Sajni loved life and learning. She spoke French fluently, … Continued

Diagnosed as a Baby, Neuroblastoma Patient is Cancer-Free Toddler

The first year of a baby’s life is filled with milestones, but between sitting and standing up, holding his bottle, and playing peek-a-boo, there was one thing Landon Cato developed that his parents never anticipated: cancer. Landon was just shy of eight months old in July 2016 when his parents took him to the pediatrician, … Continued

5 Recent Advancements in Pediatric Cancer Treatment

From new immunotherapy treatments to improved understanding of the genetic mechanisms of pediatric tumors, the past year has brought many important advances against childhood cancers. We sat down with Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, chair of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to discuss some of these developments. CAR T-Cell Therapy for Relapsed ALL A CAR … Continued

After 40 Years, Pediatric Patient Returns to Dana-Farber

Cameron Smith has spent decades traveling the country on his motorcycle, but nothing quite matches the car ride he took to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this summer—his first visit in 40 years to the cancer center where Institute founder Sidney Farber, MD, saved his life in 1961.

What is Osteosarcoma and How Is It Treated?

Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center are leading a number of studies in osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that starts in the bones.