Researchers Use CRISPR To Build A Human Melanoma Model From Scratch

Over the last two decades, researchers have discovered thousands of genetic mutations in cancer. But understanding how they affect the growth and spread of tumors in the body remains challenging because each patient’s tumor can have many different mutations.  Now, scientists have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to build cell models of melanoma “from scratch,” … Read more

Newly Identified Regulator in Prostate Cancer Cells Could Serve as Drug Target for Advanced Tumors

Treating advanced prostate cancer typically involves surgery — to reduce levels of testosterone, which fuels the growth of tumors — or giving drugs that blockade the androgen receptor (AR), which responds to testosterone by stimulating cancer-growth genes. While these measures can keep the disease at bay initially, resistance almost always occurs as the androgen receptor … Read more

Researchers Urge Efforts to Improve Diagnosis and Care of Patients with Disabilities that Affect Mobility

People with disabilities that affect their mobility often face special challenges when diagnosed with cancer. Beyond logistical matters such as getting to and from medical appointments, they may be diagnosed with more advanced, harder-to-treat cancer than non-disabled individuals, making them more likely to die of their disease, research suggests. While most previous studies of these … Read more

For Sisters, Myeloma Study is a Promise Kept

At Carolyn Kershaw and Darlene Musso’s first visit to Dana-Farber in July, Irene Ghobrial, MD, greeted them with some unexpected news. “We walked in and she said, ‘Did you know you two are famous in our lab?’” Kershaw recounts. Their local renown stems from their participation in the PROMISE study at Dana-Farber’s Center for the Prevention of Progression (CPOP), which … Read more

Study Reveals Factors Influencing Success of An Immunotherapy Treatment

Understanding why immunotherapies are highly effective in some patients but fail in many others is one of the top priorities in cancer research — and one of the most challenging puzzles. A research team led by Catherine J. Wu, MD, has uncovered some previously unknown molecular factors affecting donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI), a form of … Read more

What are Breast Cancer Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that test new therapies or existing treatments to better understand their safety and efficacy. Every treatment that is now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was tested in a clinical trial involving patients who volunteer, usually after a discussion with their physician. The clinical trial system is … Read more

Venetoclax Added to Chemotherapy Improves Outcomes in Type of Leukemia

Adding the BCL-2 inhibitor drug venetoclax to a combination chemotherapy regimen significantly improved outcomes in Richter’s syndrome, a rare but deadly complication that develops in some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a study led by Dana-Farber investigators. The addition of the targeted drug venetoclax to a chemo regimen called R-EPOCH yielded the … Read more

Targeted Drug Found Effective as Initial Treatment for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia

When a clinical trial showed the targeted drug ibrutinib to be highly effective in patients with a form of lymphoma called Waldenström macroglobulinemia, the results were so compelling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for all patients with the disease, even though the trial included only patients previously treated with other … Read more

Anti-Microbial Drug Targets Key Driver of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Dana-Farber scientists have found that a generic anti-microbial drug can block a key molecular driver of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, and when tested in a small clinical trial of advanced CLL patients who had relapsed, the drug slowed disease progression in half of them. The drug, pyrimethamine, achieved stable disease in eight of the … Read more

Implantable Device Helps Predict Drug Therapy Efficacy

Dana-Farber investigators recently launched a trial of a miniature device that can be implanted into ovarian tumors to deliver microdoses of different drugs, with the goal of rapidly measuring their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. The researchers hope the method could shorten the time needed to determine if a drug is helping a patient, and … Read more

Researchers Solve Mystery of Retinoic Acid’s Potency Against High-Risk Neuroblastoma

For decades, retinoic acid has been a key part of the arsenal against the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. For just as long, scientists have wondered exactly how it works. The answer, Dana-Farber researchers have found, is by reprogramming the activity of two crucial pairs of genes with such precision that the drug almost seems to have … Read more

Study Results Support Stem Cell Transplantation for Older Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Although stem cell transplantation is the only current therapy with the potential to cure myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), it is rarely used as an initial treatment for older patients because it hasn’t been proven superior to other therapies. New research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators stands to overturn that practice. In a clinical trial involving 384 … Read more

New ‘Almanac’ Tool of Tumor Molecular Changes Could Aid Precision Cancer Care

Researchers at Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have created a novel Molecular Oncology Almanac that combines an algorithm, or computational method, for interpreting genomic alterations in a patient’s tumor, along with a knowledge base of molecular changes reported to be associated with tumor behavior. They say that the components of this … Read more