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

Tips for Addressing Fatigue

Most people have experienced a day where they felt overly tired and unable increase their energy levels. Perhaps it’s from a long shift at work, a difficult round of treatment, or trying to make time for your family after a full day. Feeling tried or overextended is normal, but when does that feeling of tiredness … 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

Biomarker Search Reveals Unexpected Associations in Treatment of Advanced Kidney Cancer

Scientists are gratified when a clinical trial reveals whether one treatment — often an experimental therapy or drug combination — is superior to another. But researchers then often look more deeply into the data, searching for characteristics of tumors associated with a treatment’s effectiveness, or lack of it. In today’s world of precision medicine, identifying … Continued

Tips for Staying Healthy with a Compromised Immune System

A person who is immunocompromised (otherwise referred to as immunosuppressed) has a weakened immune system and a reduced ability to fight other diseases and infections, such as the common cold influenza, or COVID-19. This can be caused by various diseases and conditions, including cancer as well as various treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy or … Continued

Medulloblastoma Patient Ready to Be a Positive Light for Others

Erica Domeier thought she would be preparing for her upcoming graduation and making plans for her final summer before college in June 2014. Instead, the 17-year-old was in the hospital, having recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. It was the beginning of what would be a difficult road for Domeier. But today, because of her … 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

Personalizing Treatment: The Latest in Breast Cancer Research

One of the primary goals of today’s breast cancer research is to personalize the treatment of the disease, tailoring therapies to the specific characteristics of each patient’s cancer.  “The future of breast cancer therapy is tied to the idea of individualizing treatment for each patient — not only to the stage and subtype of the cancer but … Continued

Should I Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

It is still important to keep up with your routine medical appointments, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups remains important for your health, even for cancer patients. Here, Nathaniel Treister, DMD, DMSc, clinical director of Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, answers … Continued

Pain Medication and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Cancer and its treatment can result in pain for some patients. While this can be difficult, there are many different ways to treat and manage pain with the help of your care team. “Each person is unique in their pain experiences, and management plans can be tailored to each patient,” says Dan Gorman, NP, a … Continued

At-Home Colorectal Cancer Screenings: What You Need to Know

Colorectal cancer (cancers that start either in the colon or rectum) is a highly treatable and often curable disease when it has not moved outside the bowel. This makes regular screenings important so that the cancer can be caught as early as possible if it arises. While there are a few different screenings that can … Continued

What are Cancer Disparities and How Are Dana-Farber Researchers Addressing Them?

Despite enormous advances in cancer treatment, some racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups still bear an especially large burden from the disease, with higher incidence rates for many cancers and poorer outcomes. Decades of research has documented these disparities. Among adult patients, for example, African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic … Continued

Targeted Therapies Help Teen Keep Spindle Cell Sarcoma in Control

At 4:00 a.m. on a mid-March morning, while most of the country was hunkering down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer Huber began the long drive from her home in the Hudson Valley Region of New York to Boston. With her was her 14-year-old daughter, Emma Levine, who was suffering from excruciating headaches caused by … Continued

Should Cancer Patients Get the Flu Shot During COVID-19?

Influenza viruses, generally referred to as the flu, are present year-round in the United States, but are most common during the fall and winter months. The best way to protect yourself, and those around you, is to receive a yearly flu vaccine. Should cancer patients get the flu shot? Yes. Most cancer patients should get … Continued

Can Drinking Coffee Affect Colon Cancer Progression or Survival?

Drinking coffee continues to be associated with improved outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer, although a cause-and-effect relationship remains unproven. Previously, coffee-drinking patients with colorectal cancer classified as stage 3 — affecting lymph nodes but not spread to other organs — had been shown to have a lower risk of cancer recurrence and death than … Continued

Novel Compound Blocks Cancer Cells’ Protein Disposal System

Scientists in the lab of Loren Walensky, MD, PhD, have come up with a new twist on the emerging strategy of killing cancer cells by jamming their “garbage disposal” mechanism for getting rid of abnormal or unwanted proteins. Dana-Farber researchers created a novel peptide molecule that binds to a key control point in what’s known … Continued

How Does Testicular Cancer Affect Fertility and Sexuality?

Testicular cancer, which is most often diagnosed in men between the ages of 20 and 34, often creates major concerns about fertility and sexuality for people of all ages. While treatment will require removal of the affected testicle, someone can still retain full sexual function after surgery. Likewise, while treatment can affect fertility, there are … Continued

Ovarian Cancer Patient Benefits From New Research

Two things most surprised Jackie Page about her stage III ovarian cancer diagnosis in early 2019. She had no family history of the disease, and she had just turned 52 — a younger age than many women who learn they have it.  What most worried her was whether she would have good options for treatment: … Continued

Glioblastoma Patient Marks Major Milestones in Treatment and Life

OK Eason doesn’t mind jokes about his unique first name, especially lately. Healthy and thriving more than 30 months after a massive tumor was found in his brain, Eason takes pleasure in telling people that he is more than just “O.K.” Eason, 69, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in February 2018. He had surgery immediately, … Continued