Multiple Myeloma Patient Shines Bright as CAR T-Cell Therapy Outpatient 

As a systems operator who works to help maintain the electrical grid for New York state, Brian Houlihan, 46, is used to getting power to the people. But when the multiple myeloma he has lived with since 2011 stopped responding to chemotherapy, it was Houlihan who needed a recharge.  He got it, through an innovative … Read more

Cell Therapy Advances with Lift from Cell Manipulation Core Facility 

A recent phase 1 trial of a form of cellular gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) conducted at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital showed promise that led to an ongoing nationwide phase 2 initiative. Among the authors of the paper describing the results were six unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts made such a trial possible. Those unsung heroes … Read more

Follicular Lymphoma Patient Has Time On His Side After CAR T-Cell Therapy 

After nearly nine years of living with follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), it took just a few minutes for things to change dramatically for Marc Cummings this spring.   That was all the time needed to transfer the small bag of modified CAR T-cells — which had been recrafted from Cummings’ own T … Read more

Stem Cell Transplant and CAR T-cell Therapy: When Are They Used for Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma?

For many patients with lymphoma or multiple myeloma, a stem cell transplant with their own stem cells (an autologous transplant) or CAR T-cell therapy can extend life significantly or even cure the disease. A variety of factors influence which of these two treatments is recommended, including:  What is the difference between stem cell transplant and … Read more

Study Identifies Markers of Response to CAR T-Cell Therapies

It may be the quintessential question about cancer therapy: why does a particular treatment work well in some patients and not others with the same disease? The question is especially relevant for immunotherapies known as CAR T-cell therapies precisely because they’re so promising. The therapies, which are made by genetically engineering a patient’s own immune … Read more

Refractory Cancer: What It Is and How It Is Treated

What does “refractory” mean medically? The word “refractory” in general use means stubborn or intractable, and in medicine it is specifically applied to disease that does not respond to treatment. Refractory cancer refers to cancer that may be resistant to initial therapy or becomes resistant during treatment. “We would consider disease refractory if doesn’t respond … Read more

Specially Equipped Natural Killer Cells Show Promise Against Form of AML

CAR T cells’ superpower is to identify cancer-related targets on the surface of tumor cells and order an attack on those cells. But they lack anything resembling X-ray vision to detect nefarious protein targets within tumor cells. That shortfall has limited their effectiveness in diseases like acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), in which tumor cells display few surface … Read more

Patient Participates in Clinical Trial Leading to Approval of CAR T-Cell Therapy for Form of Lymphoma

When lab tests confirmed that her non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) had recurred after treatment, Ann Bonetti came to Dana-Farber expecting to hear she would need a stem cell transplant. When her oncologist told her about a clinical trial of a treatment that would turn her body’s own T cells into ace cancer fighters, she didn’t need … 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

CAR T-Cell Therapy Pushes Grandmother’s Multiple Myeloma Into Long Remission

As head of a family that includes seven children and 12 grandchildren, Susan Voigt says she is used to putting other people first. When it comes to trailblazing multiple myeloma treatment, however, she is proudly out in front. A longtime Vermont resident, Voigt, 69, was the first person from her state to receive CAR T-cell … Read more

CAR T-Cell Therapy Helps Runner Zoom Past Follicular Lymphoma

Ken Karnes enjoys his whirlwind of a life. If he’s not traveling to Europe or Asia for his high-tech job — pandemics permitting — he and his wife Mary are busy keeping up with their four daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. Road races are also on the 60-year-old’s agenda, with an eye toward his … Read more

Grandfather Gets Back to Life and Nature after CAR T-Cell Therapy for Lymphoma

Jerry Jalbert is always up for new adventures. He did not expect that non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) would be one of them, but with the help of CAR T-cell therapy that keeps his cancer at bay, the 73-year-old professional photographer-turned-baker-turned-forest checkpoint operator is continuing to enjoy life’s many journeys alongside his wife, Ethel. “We are not … Read more

For Father with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, CAR T-Cell Therapy Saves Memories and More

In May 2018, Tyler Goodwin underwent CAR T-cell therapy for follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). While he was having preparatory chemotherapy for the procedure, a surprise visitor to his hospital bedside provided a powerful reminder of why this promising new cancer treatment was so important to him. “It was my daughter Theresa, all made up for … Read more

Pediatric Leukemia Survivor Having a Ball After CAR T-Cell Therapy

After undergoing a promising new treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Cole Malone is back to doing what he loves: playing on a flag football team with his twin brother, Michael. Cole and Michael Malone, who are 14, already know plenty about teamwork. Michael served as a perfect-match donor when Cole underwent a stem cell … Read more