What are Signs of Lung Cancer in Women?

Lung cancer is second only to breast cancer for the most common type of cancer seen in women, (not counting skin cancer), the American Cancer Society reports. Here are the important facts about this type of cancer that every person should know. What is lung cancer and how are women affected? Lung cancer most commonly … Continued

Study Chronicles the Evolution of a Tumor in Unprecedented Detail

Tumors are scrupulous recorders of their own life stories. The wreckage they acquire as a result of therapy, the stratagems they use to survive and dodge an immune attack are all inscribed in their DNA and the set of immune system cells within them. Unfortunately for science, the autobiography of a tumor rarely consists of … Continued

New ‘Druggable’ Genetic Targets Identified in Rare Type of Bile Duct Cancer

Scientists are beginning to make inroads into treating cholangiocarcinoma, a rare, lethal cancer of the bile ducts, with precision drugs. Last year, the first targeted drug for some patients with the disease was approved. Now, Dana-Farber scientists say they have identified another genetic alteration in a small percentage of cholangiocarcinoma patients that can be attacked … 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. COVID-19 spreads through an infected person’s small droplets that land on another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth, or a surface that is then touched by someone. The best preventive measure against the virus is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. … Continued

COVID-19 Vaccines for Cancer Patients and Survivors: What We Know

Dana-Farber strongly encourages all patients to get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones. You should get a COVID-19 vaccination even if you were previously infected with the virus. The vaccine may help trigger a bigger immune response, which better prepares the body to fight off the coronavirus. If you recently had a … Continued

Harvard Student to Graduate Four Years After Brain Cancer Diagnosis

Rachel Slater insists that the hardest part about going to Harvard was getting in — if you don’t count her two bouts with brain cancer. Slater, 22, was a high school senior still waiting to hear back from colleges when she was first diagnosed with oligodendroglioma, a form of brain cancer, in early 2017. She … Continued

Newborn Genetic Screening for Pediatric Cancer Risk Could Save Lives

Numerous genetic mutations increase children’s risk for various cancers. When they are detected early, cancers can potentially be caught at an early, more treatable stage — or avoided entirely. Could adding such “cancer predisposition” genes to routine newborn “heel-stick” screening save lives? Lisa Diller, MD, chief medical officer at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood … Continued

Scientists Attack ‘Undruggable’ Cancer Protein with Targeted Nanoparticles

A protein that normally serves useful functions in the body like helping wounds heal and repairing damaged tissues is also high on scientists’ “most wanted” list of cancer culprits. Called STAT3, the protein has been found to be overactive in a variety of cancers — including breast cancer — driving malignant growth, survival, and metastasis. … Continued

Can We Prevent Leukemia in Patients With Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome?

Anna Nazarenko doesn’t see herself as sick. The strong-willed, spunky 6-year-old loves to dance and ski, and spent much of April Fool’s day pranking her parents. Aside from the enzymes she takes to help digest her food, you wouldn’t know that she has Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS). The rare, inherited type of bone marrow failure has also … Continued

Study Reveals Promising Combination Therapy for T-Cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia

Cancer cells have a bias toward survival, often becoming heavily reliant on certain protein pathways to sustain themselves. Scientists are finding ways to turn that survival instinct into a liability — by making the cells even more dependent on those pathways, then choking the pathways off. It’s an approach that has now yielded a promising … Continued

Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community: Information to Know

Communities of color, particularly Black Americans, have long faced health disparities and a disproportionate burden of cancer. Colorectal cancer is no exception. Colorectal cancer occurs at a higher rate in Black Americans than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. African Americans are more than 20% more … Continued

Dramatic Turns, Epiphanies Mark Patient’s Journey with Colorectal Cancer

Khiem Tran’s response to drug therapy for advanced colorectal cancer seemed to defy the severity of his disease. After just a few doses of chemotherapy and a targeted drug, the cancer, which had spread from his rectum to his liver, was in full retreat, with a key marker of tumor burden dropping from stratospheric levels … Continued

Scientists Seek to Expand ‘Universe’ of Drug Targets in Cancer

Cancer drugs like Gleevec or Herceptin, which were approved for us in the 1990s, prompted hopes of transforming cancer care and perhaps render harsh treatments like chemotherapy obsolete. Known as precision or targeted therapies, these drugs are designed to block the action of specific mutated genes or proteins that drive malignant tumor growth, while sparing … Continued

Targeted Agent Shows Early Promise Against a Dangerous Infant Leukemia

Leukemias involving reshuffling or rearrangement of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene, known as MLL-rearranged or MLL-r leukemias, account for 70 to 80 percent of acute leukemias in infants under one year old. In these blood cancers, a subset of acute myeloid and acute lymphoid leukemias (AML and ALL), the MLL gene breaks and reattaches to the wrong section … Continued

Could Leukemia Be Stopped Before It Starts? Researchers Aim to Find Out

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer affecting both adults and children, requires more than one genetic “hit” to develop. As we age, many of us acquire a mutation that enables certain of our blood cells to multiply faster than others, forming their own distinct population. This first hit, known as “clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate … Continued

Cracking the Case of an Attorney’s HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Joy Albi has encountered plenty of surprises during her long career as a defense attorney, but she was still caught off-guard when her HER2-positive breast cancer diagnosis took an unexpected twist last year. The way things turned out, however, made her appreciative for the new evidence revealed in her case. Albi, a Cincinnati resident, had … Continued

Which Older Patients with MDS Are Most Likely to Benefit from Transplant?

New treatment approaches have increased the number of older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) eligible for a stem cell transplant. Now, Dana-Farber research has identified those that are most likely to benefit from one. In a prospective study involving patients age 60 to 75 with advanced MDS, investigators found that participants at high risk of … Continued