COVID-19 Booster Shots for Most Cancer Patients: What to Know

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine if you are being treated for cancer and have already received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.   Under the new CDC recommendation, people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should get another dose. This means that most Dana-Farber patients who are currently being treated for cancer should get a third shot, … Read more

Tips for How Cancer Patients Can Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking during cancer treatment may seem overwhelming, but this is an especially important time to try. Active cancer patients and survivors who cut down on their cigarettes, vaping, or other nicotine use can experience a reduction in heart, stomach, and infection problems related to chemotherapy toxicity, improve their healing and breathing post-surgery, and decrease … Read more

What is a Cytokine Storm?

A cytokine storm is a severe immune system reaction to infection, autoimmune condition, or other disease, including some cancers. It occurs when the body produces extremely high levels of certain cytokines, which are proteins that raise or lower immune activity. The deluge of cytokines into the bloodstream can result in severe inflammation across multiple bodily … Read more

Vaccines Help Some COVID-19 ‘Long Haulers,’ But Lingering Symptoms Remain a Mystery

For an estimated 10% to 30% of people who survive acute COVID-19 illness, the road to full recovery is lengthy and plagued with an array of persistent ills ranging from “brain fog” to fatigue, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal distress, impaired sense of smell, and neurological symptoms. Doctors call this syndrome, “long COVID or post-acute COVID-19,” … Read more

What Should I Do After I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

People who receive a COVID-19 vaccine need to continue taking safety precautions to protect others from COVID-19. It is currently unclear whether getting the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. Below are items to consider after receiving a vaccine, as well as safety guidelines you should adhere to for the … Read more

How to Approach the Holiday Season Amidst COVID-19

The upcoming holiday season is going to look a lot different from years past. Large family gatherings should be exchanged for more intimate settings; experts recommend only celebrating with members of your household, as anything beyond that increases risk of COVID-19. (Household members are anyone you live with, whether you are related to them or … Read more

Should I Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

It is still important to keep up with your routine medical appointments, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups remains important for your health, even for cancer patients. Here, Nathaniel Treister, DMD, DMSc, clinical director of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, answers … Read more

Institute Researchers Take Lead in Trials of Potential COVID-19 Therapies

Insights from decades of cancer research are surprisingly transferable to the battle against COVID-19. The desire to save life and ease suffering that motivates cancer researchers has been directed to the new disease as well. Drawing on their knowledge of cancer drug mechanisms, and of the adverse side effects of some of those drugs, Dana-Farber … Read more

Researchers Identify Antibodies That Could Work Against Coronavirus

Dana-Farber researchers, with colleagues at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health, have identified a diverse set of antibodies that effectively neutralize the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, a key step in the development of agents to treat and prevent the disease. As reported in Nature, the antibodies exhibited “exquisite potency” against the virus, thwarting … Read more

People with Lynch Syndrome Should Take Aspirin to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk, Study Suggests

Patients with Lynch syndrome, who have an elevated risk of colorectal cancer, can reduce their risk by taking daily aspirin — and the protective effect persists for many years, according to the latest definitive study. This evidence comes as a result of a clinical trial in which all subjects were followed for at least 10 … Read more