Scientists Identify Genes Tied to Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Medically reviewed by Alexander Gusev, PhD A team of Dana-Farber scientists and their associates has identified 34 genes associated with an increased risk of developing earliest-stage ovarian cancer. The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, will both help identify women who have the highest risk of developing ovarian cancer and pave the way for identifying … Continued

A Cancer Researcher’s Personal Story

By Ellen Lori Weisberg, PhD The discovery of a lump came about as the result of a complete accident — a sweeping of my finger past a swelling as I mindlessly adjusted the ribbed shirt I was wearing during an otherwise mundane evening of television watching. My husband, a pediatrician, tried to reassure me that … Continued

Stem Cell Transplant Patient Makes Dana-Farber History

When Liz Bowen first learned she would need a stem cell transplant, she had no idea she’d be making history as the first outpatient stem cell transplant patient in New England. Bowen, 55, was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of skin lymphoma, in 2017. Her care team at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center … Continued

What is eTCR Cell Therapy and How Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Sarah Nikiforow, MD, PhD; George Demetri, MD; and Caron Jacobson, MD Among the most powerful new cancer treatments being developed today are “living drugs,” which are made by genetically modifying a patient or normal donor’s immune cell. The genetic modification is designed to alter the cells so that, when returned to the … Continued

Double Strike Against Tumor Protein Shows Promise in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Medically reviewed by Pasi A Jänne, MD, PhD Imagine inserting a key to shut off an engine only to find that it no longer fits — that the configuration of the lock has been changed without notice. Scientists developing targeted therapies to treat cancer often face a similar conundrum. Targeted therapies derive their effectiveness from … Continued

What is the JUUL?

Medically reviewed by Andy Tan, MPH, PhD JUUL is a brand of electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, that enables users to inhale vapor infused with nicotine, flavorings, and other compounds. Introduced in 2015, JUULs work much as other e-cigarettes do, but because they’re small and sleek — resembling a USB flash drive — and come in … Continued

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Treatment-Related Nausea

Medically reviewed by Kristen Uhl, PhD Treatment-induced nausea is an unpleasant side effect that can occur before, during, or after cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Antiemetic medications are typically used to treat nausea and vomiting, but there are other strategies that can help. Kristen Uhl, PhD, of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s … Continued

Melanoma: What It Is, How to Spot It, and Treatment Options

Medically reviewed by F. Stephen Hodi, MD Melanoma is a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer that originates in melanocytes, the cells that create pigment (melanin) to protect us from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Melanoma is categorized into one of three subtypes, depending on its location: Cutaneous melanoma: Melanoma of the skin. Common affected areas … Continued

Which Professions are Associated with Cancer Risk?

Medically reviewed by Huma Rana, MD About 5-8% of all cancers worldwide are caused by exposures to carcinogens in the workplace, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Although the rate of workplace-related cancers has decreased due to safety regulations, exposure to some dusts, gases, and chemicals can increase cancer risk in … Continued

Anesthesia: Types, Side Effects, And Other Information to Know

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth M. Rickerson, MD Anesthesia is a medical treatment used to block a patient’s awareness of pain during a surgical procedure. Are there different types of anesthesia? There are three different types of anesthesia (or, anesthetics): General anesthesia puts the patient in a deep sleep, and a ventilator is provided to provide … Continued

Study Finds Advantage for African Americans with Multiple Myeloma

In a surprising rebuttal of previous findings, a new study shows that African Americans with multiple myeloma have an overall higher survival rate than Caucasians with the disease when all patients have equal access to cutting-edge therapies. The results raise questions about the biology of this type of cancer. Multiple myeloma, a cancer that arises … Continued

Stella’s Story: Winning Against Neuroblastoma

This post originally appeared on Discoveries, the blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. The Downey family was enjoying the holidays with family in Guatemala in 2017 when their 13-month-old daughter Stella started having unusual symptoms. “She was very clingy towards me and not acting like herself,” says Stella’s mom, Fiorella, a child life specialist at Boston … Continued

Research Shows Minor Subsets of Tumor Cells Play Major Role in Metastasis

Medically reviewed by Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD In the jostling, jockeying mob of cell populations within a malignant tumor, the most inconspicuous groups can be the most dangerous. In a new study, Dana-Farber scientists show that in some breast cancers, two small factions of cells cooperate to drive metastasis but don’t directly interact with each … Continued

Gynecologic Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Kevin Elias, MD Today, cervical cancer is the only type of gynecologic cancer for which there is a routine screening test. The lack of such tests for endometrial and ovarian cancer — the most common gynecologic cancers — makes it especially important that women and their doctors be attuned to the symptoms … Continued

Worth the Shot: No, Vaccines Won’t Give You Cancer

Medically reviewed by Patrick Ott, MD, PhD There are a lot of concerns about the potential risks of vaccines, including fears that vaccines can cause autism, can infect the recipient with the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent, and are generally unsafe. Rest assured: Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventative … Continued

Discovery Suggests Potential New Target for Pain Control

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown mechanism in mice that influences their ability to feel pain. The discovery suggests the possibility of new approaches to treating pain in humans that are an alternative to opioid drugs. The scientists, reporting in the journal Science, found that the production of prostaglandins in white blood cells depends on … Continued

Metastatic Colon Cancer Patient Focuses on Helping Others

At the start of 2016, Amy Ennis was poised to take on the world. She was working as a project manager for Massachusetts’ biggest healthcare provider; she and her husband, Rich, had also recently celebrated their daughter Blakely’s first birthday.   So, when Ennis went to the hospital for stomach pains and intense nausea in … Continued