Colon Cancer in Young Adults: What You Need to Know

The face of colorectal cancer is changing. Today, incidence rates of colon and rectal cancer are on the rise in young people (those under the age of 50) while decreasing in older adults (those over the age of 50). While older adults still make up the majority of cases, recent studies suggest this trend will … Continued

Can Colorectal Cancer Be Treated with Immunotherapy?

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in women and men in the United States. While surgery and chemotherapy are the mainstays of treatment for colorectal cancer, some patients with the disease can be treated with immunotherapy. What is immunotherapy? Immunotherapy harnesses the individual’s immune defenses to fight cancer. In the case of … Continued

Stem Cell Transplants for Older Patients: Information to Know

Stem cell transplants today can be performed on some patients well into their 70s. While advances in transplant techniques and supportive care have made transplants safer for older patients, a variety of factors influence whether the procedure is right for each individual. Your care team can help determine what is best for you. What is … Continued

What are PD-1, PD-L1, and Immunotherapy?

What are PD-1 and PD-L1? PD-L1 is a protein on the surface of some cancer cells that interacts with the PD-1 protein on T cells of the immune system to thwart an immune attack on the cancer. It’s one of the tools that cancer cells use to escape an attack by the immune system and … Continued

Spurring Natural Killer Cells to Fight Head and Neck Cancer

Excited to be the first patient in a novel clinical trial, Jon Woods is hoping that an infusion of immune natural killer cells donated by his son will beat back the metastatic cancer he has battled for four years. “I’m upbeat [and] I’m happy to be a pioneer,” says Woods, 65, a retired postal worker … Continued

False-Positive Test Results: What You Should Know

Testing is a key part of a medical diagnosis, including cancer. Different kinds of tests and screenings are used to diagnose cancer and monitor it as a patient is treated. Test results can have two different outcomes: positive or negative. A positive test result indicates the condition being looked for is or may be present, … Continued

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 … Continued

What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that can be easily spread from person to person. Currently, COVID-19 can be difficult to identify because it shares many symptoms with the flu. Here is what you need to know. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, according … Continued

Patient Living Life Despite Leukemia and COVID-19

Tim O’Neill likes to keep moving — whether on his boat, his motorcycle, in his running shoes, or while steering an RV across 47 states. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has failed to stop him from these pursuits, and he’s determined not to let a pandemic do so either. “I’m more careful these days because of … Continued

FAQs for Cancer Patients on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causes the disease COVID-19, a respiratory illness. The spread of COVID-19 is disrupting life — for those who have been infected with the virus as well as those who haven’t — on a global scale. The coronavirus outbreak may pose special risks … Continued

I Have Metastatic Breast Cancer: What Is My Prognosis?

A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can be a stressful, life-changing event. While metastatic breast cancer it is not curable, it is treatable. Today, with the help of new treatments including biologic targeted therapies and novel drug combinations, many patients with metastatic disease can live well for years.  Metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer has … Continued

How is Immunotherapy Used to Treat Lymphoma?

Immunotherapy is an approach to treatment that harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer and other diseases. It is used to treat a growing array of cancer types, often with striking success. Lymphoma is a form of cancer that occurs when white blood cells known as lymphocytes grow abnormally. There are now close to … Continued

How Donating Blood and Platelets Helps Cancer Patients

If you’ve ever donated blood or platelets, there’s a reasonable chance that your donation went to help a cancer patient. That’s because cancer and certain treatments can damage blood cells, which means some patients may need transfusions of one or more types of blood components. These include: Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to organs throughout the … Continued

Should I Get Screened for Cancer During COVID-19?

Many people skipped or delayed routine cancer screening tests during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Medical providers say it’s now safe and prudent to schedule your appointments.  “If you put off your cancer screening mammograms or other screening procedures, we encourage you to reschedule them now,” says Craig Bunnell, MD, MPH, Dana-Farber’s chief … Continued

Common Cancers in Women and Steps You Can Take

Understanding the risk factors for cancer can help you make decisions about prevention and screening for early signs of cancer. Here is a look at the five most common cancers in women*, as well as steps you can take to help find these diseases early if needed. 1. Breast cancer As with most cancers, the … Continued

Colon Cancer Signs and Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. Colon and rectal cancers are often collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths — known as polyps — can turn into … Continued

Model Provides New Way to Study Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a rare childhood cancer affecting about 800 children each year in the United States. Because of its unusual behavior — tumors in infants often disappear spontaneously without treatment while it can be aggressive in toddlers — studying the disease has been complicated. That may change with a new research tool: a mouse genetically altered … Continued

Osteosarcoma Patient Gets Chance to Be ‘Normal College Kid’

For almost half of his life, Michael Murray has had to grapple with cancer, including multiple relapses. One of his hardest setbacks was hearing that his cancer had returned just weeks before he was set to start his freshman year at Boston College. With the news, Murray worried that his future would be in jeopardy. … Continued

Study Identifies Candidate Combinations for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In their quest for effective targeted therapies to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) — an aggressive disease that often doesn’t respond to standard chemotherapy — researchers at Dana-Farber and elsewhere have recently focused on the potential of drugs known as BET bromodomain inhibitors. BET inhibitors target a family of proteins including BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, and … Continued