Breast Cancer Survivor Looks To the Future—And a Potential Family

In the summer of 2018, Kelli O’Hara was diagnosed with breast cancer—a difficult diagnosis for her to grapple with, since she lost her own grandmother to breast cancer when she was a child. But because of advancements in cancer research, as well as the care she received at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s … Continued

Immunotherapy Shows Benefit in Hard-to-Treat Breast Cancer

While immunotherapy has brought an impressive new option to several types of cancer, drugs that harness the immune system to fight cancer haven’t shown a significant benefit in treating breast cancer—until now. According to a new clinical trial report, published in Th­­e New England Journal of Medicine, a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy achieved better … Continued

For Lymphoma Patient, Research Leads to Stem Cell Transplant

A troublesome cough led Patty Reid on a nine-months-long medical odyssey that resulted in a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Just as the then-60-year-old was preparing for a stem cell transplant in late 2016, a new research discovery prompted her doctors to change the type of transplant Reid received—greatly lessening her risk for another cancer … Continued

After Two Cancer Diagnoses, Cancer Survivor Finds A Light at the End of the Tunnel

There was a time when Georgette Hannoush couldn’t imagine a bright future. In a four-year span, the mother of four—including triplets—was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. But because of her team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Hannoush has been in remission for more than three years—and she credits her faith and the people she … Continued

Vaccine Implants Aim to Train Immune Response Against Melanoma

Of the many ways scientists are trying to harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer, here is one of the most innovative: an approach that involves implanting small, biodegradable, sponge-like disks under the skin to attract key immune cells in the bloodstream—and “train” them to dispatch front-line defender cells (T cells) on a cancer … Continued

Cancer Fails to Stop Dream of Motherhood

Monica Jones was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2015, at the same she was dealing with infertility issues. Thanks to one very special friend and support from the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Monica and her husband Matthew had the best possible outcome: Their daughter, Ella, now … Continued

From Patient to Employee: A Return to Dana-Farber

No athlete welcomes an injury, but a simple scratch may have saved Rich Oakley’s life. Oakley was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, as a high school senior, after a scratch from a sports injury led to a swollen neck. When the swelling didn’t subside, Oakley’s mother brought him to the doctor for tests, which revealed … Continued

Grandfather is Active and Optimistic After Reduced-Intensity Stem Cell Transplant

Alan Dynner was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2016 at 76 years old. Treatment for the cancer would require a life-saving stem cell transplant, a procedure that most hospitals deemed too grueling for someone Dynner’s age. But thanks in large part to treatment options a short drive from his Boston home at Dana-Farber/Brigham … 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

For Grandmother, Rare Lymphoma Proves a Short Detour in an Active Life

Sandi and George Schussel first met on an airplane, beginning a 55-year journey that has taken them across the world, over oceans, into the mountains, and down countless paths. When Sandi learned she had a rare blood cancer known as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), the couple saw her diagnosis as another trail to travel. This … Continued

Three-Time Cancer Survivor Becomes Two-Time Marathon Runner

This was not how she expected her first marathon to go. 15.5 miles into the race, Mary Shertenlieb stood shivering in the lobby of a Dunkin’ Donuts. For hours, the three-time cancer survivor had been battling driving rains, punishing winds, and unrelenting cold weather in order to cross the finish line of the 2018 Boston … Continued

Breast Cancer Patient, Now Cancer-Free, Finds Strength Through Her Family

The drive from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to Raleigh, North Carolina, is about 750 miles. If you’re up for the drive, Jenn Anderson notes, plan on spending a lot of time on I-95 and consider extending the trip with a stopover in Delaware. It’s a familiar route for Anderson, who was planning to move south with her … Continued

Breast Cancer Patient Skates Past Cancer

Have you ever wanted to ice skate at Rockefeller Center? If so, you’re not alone. But what if balance and coordination escape you the moment you step on the ice? You may need the help of two-time breast cancer survivor Margaret Simonovich. Simonovich, a 76-year-old former professional figure skater originally from Scotland, was first bit … Continued

After Breast Cancer Treatment while Pregnant, Nurse and Son Are Thriving

Tricia Severns, NP, a nurse practitioner at Dana-Farber, found out that she was pregnant just five days after her breast cancer diagnosis. But with the guidance of experts in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Severns was able to carry and deliver a baby boy—and both Tricia and her son are … Continued

A Long Career of Service While Living with a Brain Tumor

In three decades with the National Forest Service and other federal agencies, Deb Shea helped fight forest fires and floods, mend broken limbs (including those of four-legged creatures), and save habitats across the country. She credits her grandfather for her love of all things outdoors, but when it comes to her ability to conquer new … Continued

After Two Relapses, Ovarian Cancer Patient is Thriving

After two relapses, Janet Sheehan went on a clinical trial for her ovarian cancer. Four months later, her newest tumors were completely gone—and today, she’s relishing in a growing list of family milestones.

Aggressive Breast Cancer Can’t Slow Young Mom Down

Ever since she was diagnosed with a form of aggressive breast cancer six years ago, Tara Shuman has channeled her abundant energy and optimism into getting through and beyond her cancer, and also on doing everything possible to help others facing it.