Researchers Set Sights on New Ovarian Cancer Treatment Strategies

Despite breakthrough treatments for high-grade serous ovarian cancer, about 80 percent of patients relapse within two years, often resistant to treatment. The good news is that Dana-Farber scientists are pursuing multiple avenues of research that very well may improve outcomes. “A number of patients develop progressive disease at a later point, potentially indicating that a … Read more

TILs: What Are They and How Are They Used in Cancer Treatment?

What is TIL (tumor infiltrating lymphocyte) therapy? A form of immune cell therapy for cancer known as tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapy, involves removing immune T cells from a piece of the patient’s tumor — where the T cells have succeeded in recognizing the cancer — expanding them outside the body, and re-infusing them … Read more

Metastatic Uterine Cancer Patient Remains Optimistic With Help of Care Team

Stephanie Davis is a master adapter. When she was initially diagnosed with serous uterine cancer, she found a way to continue working around surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Today, she is still adapting — moving from one treatment plan to another as her cancer changes — and is in consultation with her care team to keep … Read more

Can Endometrial Cancer Be Treated with Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy, which boosts the patient’s immune system response against cancer, is an emerging area of treatment and research. The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is approved to treat women whose endometrial cancer cells have certain characteristics. What type of endometrial cancer does immunotherapy work for? Pembrolizumab is effective in shrinking or slowing the growth of a … Read more

Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trial Helps Grandmother Feel Stable During a Difficult Year

Carol Brown, 80, has been through quite a turbulent 2020. Her much-beloved pastimes, including playing violin in a senior orchestra, book groups, and weekly church services, are now virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boston-area resident had to cancel a March trip to visit family out west, and she spent the summer packing up … Read more

For Patient with Endometrial Cancer, Immunotherapy Proves the Perfect Move

As a designer of fantasy-style board games, Kate Beckett knows that timing and chance can play important roles in a player’s survival. Living with metastatic endometrial cancer, she has proof both can also be helpful in the real world. Beckett had already endured a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and a serious kidney infection during six years … Read more

Patient with Metastatic Cervical Cancer Looks at Life Through Her Own Lens

One of the reasons Fangjyh Chern loves photography is because it allows her to capture a unique moment in time. For her, the fun and challenge comes from photographing instances that can never be truly reproduced or recreated. Since her own cancer diagnosis in 2014, Chern says she has had a heightened awareness of the … Read more

The Most Significant Cancer Research Advances of the 2010s

It was a decade that began with the electrifying results of a clinical trial for a revolutionary new cancer therapy and ended with a Nobel Prize in Medicine for very different cancer-related research. In between those dramatic bookends, the 2010s were packed with progress, with discoveries leading to the FDA’s 2017 approval of the first … Read more

Basic Science Discovery Leads to Clinical Trial for Patients with Chemotherapy-Resistant Form of Ovarian Cancer

Dana-Farber scientists recently uncovered a potential vulnerability in a form of ovarian cancer notoriously resistant to chemotherapy. Now they’ve opened a clinical trial involving a drug that targets that susceptibility in patients with the disease. The impetus for their research is a type of ovarian cancer with excess copies of the cyclinE1 gene (abbreviated CCNE1). … Read more

Immunotherapy for Cancer: What it Is, How it Works, and Where it’s Going

Immunotherapy refers to treatments that use the body’s immune system to combat diseases. Immuno-oncology focuses on efforts to use the immune system as a weapon against cancer.  The immune system is a collection of organs, tissues, specialized cells, and substances that protect the body against infection and disease. While the immune system can often handle very small … Read more

Facing Ovarian Cancer, a Doctor Becomes the Patient

By Luisa Stigol, MD, FAAP I was a 74-year-old pediatrician in practice with a multi-specialty group associated with Boston Children’s Hospital. Forty years after becoming a doctor, I still loved learning new things and sharing them with my patients. Then I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — and suddenly, a big wall separated me from … Read more

With precision cancer medicine, a success against endometrial cancer

In the annals of patients who have benefited from Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s (BWH) genomic sequencing program Profile, few involve a turnabout as dramatic as one recently reported in Gynecologic Oncology. Authored by nearly a dozen Dana-Farber and BWH faculty, the paper recounts the medical history of a 49-year-old Nebraska woman first diagnosed … Read more

Tips for Recovery After Gynecologic Surgery

Surgery is an essential component in the management of patients with gynecologic cancers. Surgical procedures may be utilized to initially diagnose cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovary, vulva and vagina. In addition, many gynecologic cancers are primarily treated (and often cured) with surgery alone. Nearly all gynecologic surgeries fall into either one of two categories: … Read more

How is Endometriosis Different from Endometrial Cancer?

Endometriosis is a non-cancerous disorder that occurs when tissue lining the inside of the uterus, known as the endometrium, appears in other parts of the body. It usually is found in the lower abdomen or pelvis but can appear in virtually any organ or tissue. Endometrial cancer, by contrast, occurs when cells in the endometrium … Read more

PARP Inhibitor Drugs May Now be Standard Part of Follow-up Therapy for Some Ovarian Cancer Patients

On the strength of the results of a major international clinical trial, there is now a new standard of care for patients with an advanced form of ovarian cancer who have responded to initial chemotherapy. The trial, dubbed SOLO-1, found that these patients – newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer that carries a mutation in the … Read more