Bridging the Gap Between Medical AI Research and Real-World Clinical Impact 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has tremendous potential to advance healthcare and improve the lives of everyone. But successful clinical translation requires evaluating the performance of AI models on large and diverse real-world datasets. MLCommons, an open global engineering consortium dedicated to making machine learning better for everyone, announced on July 17, 2023, a major milestone toward … Read more

Living Systematic Review Guides Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

As science and clinical medicine advance, oncologists increasingly face the challenge of information overload. It can be hard for oncologists, especially those in community practices who cover many cancers, to keep up with the influx of new therapies, biomarkers, and clinical trial results. The go-to solution has been the systematic review. Researchers team up to … Read more

What Is ctDNA?

Like a mill crumbling into a river, solid tumors constantly shed bits of themselves — including their DNA — into the bloodstream. This free-floating genetic material, known as circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA, contains a trove of information about the tumor.  Advances in technology have made it possible to extract ctDNA from a blood sample, … Read more

New Targeted Treatments Emerge For Gastric and Esophageal Cancer 

For years, patients with advanced forms of gastric and esophageal cancer have had relatively few treatment options. Most patients with inoperable tumors would receive chemotherapy, usually a combination of fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and leucovorin (known as FOLFOX). While this regimen is often effective, patients eventually develop resistance to the treatment and their tumors progress. Now, the … Read more

Research Drives Key Protein from the Shadows to Reveal Its Role in Breast Cancer Subtype 

In a branch of the PI3K protein family — with members named PI3Kα, PI3Kβ, PI3Kδ, and PI3Kγ — PI3Kβ was long treated as the proverbial middle child: neglected by cancer scientists in favor of its more prominent siblings.  In a new study, Dana-Farber researchers demonstrate that it doesn’t deserve its obscurity — that in fact … Read more

Clinical Trial Offers Lessons for Patient and Researchers 

When the time came for Jeffrey Ferreira to undergo a stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), his Dana-Farber hematologist, Corey Cutler, MD, MPH, had some intriguing news: he was eligible for a clinical trial of a new approach to lowering the risk of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common and sometimes severe aftereffect … Read more

New Trial Is First to Explore Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy in Hospice Patients

On a wave of promising research and positive media stories, psychedelic drugs are edging closer to mainstream use for treating a variety of mental disorders. A clinical trial recently launched by Dana-Farber investigators is the first to evaluate such an agent in patients receiving hospice care. The trial, which plans to enroll 15 patients served … Read more

Graft Sculpting Brings New Approach to Stem Cell Therapy for Highest Risk AML Patients 

A novel hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) method utilizing ‘graft sculpting’ is being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial in patients with refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who are at the highest risk of relapse after ‘standard’ transplants. In fact, the patients in the trial don’t qualify for a standard … Read more

Dana-Farber Researchers Use Machine Learning to Understand Rare Familial Blood Cancer

Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) is a blood cancer that is extremely rare, affecting around 1500 people in the US each year. About 20 percent of those cases are considered familial, meaning that many members of the same family also have some form of blood cancer, such as myeloma or lymphoma.  An even smaller group — five … Read more

Study Reveals Inherited Risk Genes for Ewing Sarcoma

A study led by Dana-Farber researchers has revealed that inherited variations in certain DNA damage repair genes may increase an individual’s susceptibility to Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive cancer that tends to strike teenagers and young adults. Ewing sarcoma is rare, with only about one in a million cases diagnosed annually in the United States, and … Read more

Research Into Cellular Recycling System Reveals New Vulnerability in Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer cells operate a recycling program that would be the envy of any municipality — but the only beneficiaries are the cells themselves. All cells in the body recycle minerals and nutrients, removing them from storage and breaking them down them for re-use. But in cancer cells, this process, known as autophagy — literally, … Read more

Donor Transplants Paved the Way for Today’s Immune and Cellular Therapies

To understand the genesis of the bone marrow transplant field, go back to the detonation, in 1945, of the first nuclear weapons and the shadow of the Atomic Age. The search for ways to rescue the blood-forming and immune systems of individuals exposed to high doses of radiation provided the impetus for donor bone marrow … Read more

Study Shows How PARP Inhibitors Can Be Empowered in Breast Cancer

Logic said that drugs known as PARP inhibitors would work as well ­— and perhaps even better — in breast cancer marked by BRCA gene mutations than in ovarian cancer carrying the same abnormalities. Clinical results said otherwise. Patients with relapsed, BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer survive longer, overall, with PARP inhibitor treatment than any other therapy. … Read more