For Scientist-Turned-Melanoma Patient, Immunotherapy Treatment is Precisely Right

Jen Mancuso’s analytical mind has served her well during her career as a biochemist and information technology expert. Thinking like a diagnostician has also allowed her to remain upbeat while facing the greatest challenge of her life: stage IV melanoma. A wife and mother of two pre-teen daughters, Mancusco, 41, says she appreciates the intricacies … Continued

For 95-Year-Old Dana-Farber Volunteer, Serving Cancer Patients is a Proud Privilege

Ingersoll “Sandy” Cunningham has the dignified, silver-haired appearance of a man you’d expect to find sipping tea with friends. So what is this Harvard-educated great-grandfather doing pushing food carts through the hallways of Dana-Farber, handing out sandwiches to patients? “You’ve got to have some objective when you get up in the morning, a purpose and … Continued

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Beats Back Notorious Brain Tumor

Kristina Johnson is a recent college graduate with a major in psychology who is working part-time while she looks for the right job. In her spare time, she likes spending time with friends and family and working out at the gym. Her life may sound like that of an average 25-year-old, but in one important … Continued

Researchers Making Headway on Treatment for Rare Blood Cancer

It began with some skin spots on his back and a lump on his knee that he thought was just a bruise from a golfing injury. After a series of exams and a biopsy, David Tracy, 74, of Waterford, Conn., finally learned he had a very rare and puzzling blood cancer that didn’t even have … Continued

Multiple Myeloma Patient Committed to Persevering

Russ Horn went to work every day as a firefighter for almost 30 years. But now he has a new job—one that takes the same courage, hard work, and perseverance required in his last role. In 2014, Horn, then 50, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma—a cancer of plasma cells—after a minor slip at work sent … Continued

Patient Spreads the Word on Breast Cancer: Never Ignore the Signs

Kaitlyn Zonfrelli thought she was too young to have breast cancer, even though she showed a common sign of the disease. Now that she’s in treatment, she wants to spread the word: don’t ignore the signs, no matter what. Two years ago, when she was 26, Zonfrelli felt a lump on her breast during a … Continued

Glioblastoma Survivor is Thriving Seven Years After Diagnosis

Charlie Benoit was told that he had a long road ahead of him when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2011. More than seven years later, he’s still doing well—and by studying patients like Benoit, researchers hope to help other patients with this incurable form of brain cancer. In 2011, Benoit, then 48, was getting … Continued

Living for Today, Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Has ‘All I Need’

Krista Lawrence likes to joke with her two adult children that they don’t need to get married and have their own kids just because she has metastatic breast cancer. In fact, thanks to her excellent response to a clinical trial at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Lawrence is enjoying each … Continued

8 Stories of Hope from 2018

We featured the stories of many inspirational Dana-Farber patients in 2018. Here are eight that embody the word “hope.” In early 2018, CAR T-cell therapy put Sandra Linberg, a 75-year-old lymphoma patient, into complete remission. Linberg had been previously treated for advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma with standard chemotherapy, but the cancer recurred. Now, after only a month … Continued

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: One Mom’s Story

When Stacy Hanson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in early 2017, she immediately assumed she had no viable treatment options. Now that she is living a full, active lifestyle with her incurable yet treatable disease, she wants others to know that they can, too. Hanson, 49, is on a clinical trial that she began … Continued

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