Does Having Cancer Once Increase the Risk of Developing Other Cancers?

While the vast majority of people diagnosed with cancer do not develop a different malignancy later in life, it’s important for survivors to be aware of factors that can put them at risk. People who have had cancer may in some cases have a higher than average risk of developing a new cancer — that … Continued

Kids ‘Move Forward With Lives’ After Bone Cancer Surgery

Nolan and Natasha might never have met if they hadn’t been diagnosed with bone cancer. Nolan, 13, is a natural athlete who lives in Maine. Natasha, 11, lives in Rhode Island and loves music and theater. As kids go, the two are pretty different — except for their osteosarcoma diagnoses and the surgery they received … 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’s the Difference Between BRCA1 and BRCA2?

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are cancer-susceptibility genes, meaning that people who inherit pathogenic* mutations in either one have an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Hereditary (or “germline”) mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 cause Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome. Having a pathogenic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 doesn’t mean you will definitely develop cancer, but … Continued

Wave of New Therapies Improve Outcomes for Patients with Multiple Myeloma

For many patients with multiple myeloma, a new generation of drugs and drug combinations is producing better outcomes and fewer side effects. In recent months, several novel therapies studied and tested by Dana-Farber scientists have gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or taken a step toward approval after posting solid results … Continued

Surgical Nurse Stays on Shift During Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treatment

As a nurse, Nadege Vilnaigre has devoted her professional life to helping those facing serious medical challenges. Her determination to stay on the job hasn’t waned — even in the face of her own experience with cancer. Vilnaigre is being treated at Dana-Farber for inflammatory breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in September 2019. … Continued

Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

By Mae Reilly, MS, RD, LDN, senior clinical nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute “Does sugar feed cancer?” is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive as oncology dietitians. Researchers continue to investigate the relationship between sugar intake and cancer; meanwhile, there are steps you can take to avoid any potential harm that sugar … Continued

Researchers Identify Antibodies That Could Work Against Coronavirus

Dana-Farber researchers, with colleagues at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health, have identified a diverse set of antibodies that effectively neutralize the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, a key step in the development of agents to treat and prevent the disease. As reported in Nature, the antibodies exhibited “exquisite potency” against the virus, thwarting … Continued

Scientists Find Immune Signal in Human Cells Has Ancient Pedigree

Human cells in distress — either because they’re infected by a virus or have become cancerous — have a formidable army of defenders at their disposal: white blood cells and other agents of the immune system that can come to the rescue. Bacterial cells aren’t as fortunate. Living in colonies of their own kind, they … Continued

What is CAR T-Cell Therapy and How Does It Work?

CAR T-cell therapy is a kind of cellular therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune system cells to rally an attack on cancer. They’re made by removing a specific set of cells from the blood, modifying them in a lab to intensify the immune system’s natural response to cancer, and re-injecting them into the patient. … Continued

What Are The Side Effects of CAR T-Cell Therapy?

CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy in which patients’ T cells are modified to become better at tracking down and destroying tumor cells. CAR T cells are made by extracting thousands of a patient’s T cells, sending them to a lab where they’re outfitted with genes and proteins that improve their cancer-fighting prowess, … Continued

How Treatment Works for CAR T-Cell Therapy Patients

CAR T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that uses specially modified T cells – part of the body’s defense system against disease – to attack cancer. As of July 2020, CAR T-cell therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as standard therapy for: Some adult patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has relapsed after prior treatments, or has not responded to other therapies … Continued

What is Mantle Cell Lymphoma and How Is It Treated?

Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare, often aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that involves white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which help protect the body from disease. It is named for its origins in the mantle zone — a ring of cells within the lymph nodes where B cells (a type of … Continued

Unusual Case Reveals How Some Tumors Resist Immunotherapy

The intriguing case of a man with melanoma tumors that responded in different ways to the same checkpoint-blocking drug has yielded an important clue to the causes of resistance to immunotherapy treatments, according to Dana-Farber researchers. The findings could help guide the use of immunotherapy in individual patients. The 74-year-old patient, described in a report … Continued

When Is Chemotherapy Used to Treat Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a family of diseases with a variety of different subtypes, some of which are often treated with chemotherapy. The treatment a patient receives depends on a variety of factors, including the subtype and stage of the disease — how far it has advanced — as well as genetic factors, the presence of … Continued

In Overcoming Stage IV Colon Cancer, Young Mother Takes Big Steps

On the morning of Sept. 12, 2019, Alexa Morell watched her son, Maddox, walk for the first time. Later that day, she learned she had colon cancer. The second milestone confounded Morell as much as the first delighted her. She was just 29 years old, with a clean bill of health from her annual physical … Continued

Cancer Patient Faces Multiple Diagnoses with the Strength of a Warrior

One bout of cancer is enough to contend with, but since 2014 Mary Johnson has had to cope with four different cancers and related conditions. Despite these tests of her physical and emotional strength, Johnson is doing well today after treatment at Dana-Farber. “Coming to Dana-Farber gave me confidence because they supported me, and I … Continued