Spurring Natural Killer Cells to Fight Head and Neck Cancer

Excited to be the first patient in a novel clinical trial, Jon Woods is hoping that an infusion of immune natural killer cells donated by his son will beat back the metastatic cancer he has battled for four years. “I’m upbeat [and] I’m happy to be a pioneer,” says Woods, 65, a retired postal worker … Continued

Patient Living Life Despite Leukemia and COVID-19

Tim O’Neill likes to keep moving — whether on his boat, his motorcycle, in his running shoes, or while steering an RV across 47 states. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has failed to stop him from these pursuits, and he’s determined not to let a pandemic do so either. “I’m more careful these days because of … Continued

Despite Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis, Military Veteran Never Loses Hope

Scott Sterling spent his entire military career pushing both his mind and body to the limit. A member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the U.S. Army’s premier large-scale special operations force and a special mission unit within the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Sterling was trained to endure and overcome any challenge placed in front … Continued

Brain Tumor Doesn’t Stop Patient from Living A Full Life

In 2018, Suzy Pope was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer known as glioblastoma. Typically forming in the brain or spinal cord, glioblastomas tend to have a fairly grim prognosis. But two and a half years after her diagnosis, Pope continues to thrive and make the most of every day. Her exceptional response to … Continued

Surgical Nurse Stays on Shift During Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treatment

As a nurse, Nadege Vilnaigre has devoted her professional life to helping those facing serious medical challenges. Her determination to stay on the job hasn’t waned — even in the face of her own experience with cancer. Vilnaigre is being treated at Dana-Farber for inflammatory breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in September 2019. … Continued

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 … Continued

In Overcoming Stage IV Colon Cancer, Young Mother Takes Big Steps

On the morning of Sept. 12, 2019, Alexa Morell watched her son, Maddox, walk for the first time. Later that day, she learned she had colon cancer. The second milestone confounded Morell as much as the first delighted her. She was just 29 years old, with a clean bill of health from her annual physical … Continued

For Patient with Endometrial Cancer, Immunotherapy Proves the Perfect Move

As a designer of fantasy-style board games, Kate Beckett knows that timing and chance can play important roles in a player’s survival. Living with metastatic endometrial cancer, she has proof both can also be helpful in the real world. Beckett had already endured a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and a serious kidney infection during six years … Continued

Dana-Farber Patient Recovering Well After Cancer and the Coronavirus

Pam Dobay is a warrior. In the last three years, the 67-year-old has dealt with a cancer diagnosis and stem cell transplant before recently contracting the coronavirus. None of it was easy, but today, Dobay is recovering at home. She says she cannot begin to express the gratitude she feels towards everyone who has cared … Continued

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 … Continued

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Mom with Four Kids Finds Hope

When Yvonne Frazier was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019, she had three school-age children, a 2-year-old toddler, and a full-time job. She also had options. Lawrence General Hospital, where Frazier works, is 30 miles and an hour in traffic from the major cancer centers of Boston. It was next door, however, to a … Continued

Approval of Myeloma Drug Improves Patients’ Prospects

Five years into his treatment for multiple myeloma, Mark Young was attending a Dana-Farber conference to learn about the latest research in the disease when his oncologist — Paul Richardson, MD, clinical program leader and director of clinical research at the Institute’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center — came running up with some timely news. … Continued

Tips for Getting Through Isolation From a Cancer Survivor

When Rosemary Fischer gets calls from friends and family complaining about the challenges of staying home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she is always ready with a good-natured response. “Wait, you’re climbing the walls after three weeks?” she said in a recent chat. “I’ve been doing it for three years!” The callers, of course, know … Continued

Still Smiling After Four Cancers and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Martha Pena has endured breast cancer twice (once in each breast), lung cancer that metastasized to her brain, and stomach (gastric) cancer — all by age 40. Now 42, she is receiving ongoing treatment for her lung and gastric cancer at Dana-Farber, where she was also diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare hereditary condition … Continued

Patient with Metastatic Cervical Cancer Looks at Life Through Her Own Lens

One of the reasons Fangjyh Chern loves photography is because it allows her to capture a unique moment in time. For her, the fun and challenge comes from photographing instances that can never be truly reproduced or recreated. Since her own cancer diagnosis in 2014, Chern says she has had a heightened awareness of the … Continued