TILs: What Are They and How Are They Used in Cancer Treatment?

What is TIL (tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte) therapy? Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapy uses a patient’s own immune system T cells to fight cancer. The therapy involves removing T cells from a piece of the patient’s tumor – where the T cells have congregated after being alerted to the cancer – growing them outside the body, then … Read more

How to Minimize Heart Problems Following Cancer Treatment

As more people are surviving cancer than ever before, greater attention is being focused on the cardiotoxicity of therapies and their long-term effects on the heart. Radiation therapy and a number of commonly used chemotherapy drugs can impair heart function, says Anju Nohria, MD, a cardiologist who leads the cardio-oncology program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s … Read more

How Does Radiation Raise the Risk of Other Cancers?

Along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a common method for treating cancer; about half of patients receive the therapy, which uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells, during the course of their treatment. While radiation therapy is effective against cancer cells, it also leaves its mark on any normal cells it comes … Read more

What Are the Different Types of Cancer Surgery?

Cancer surgery is used to prevent, diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. It is the oldest type of cancer therapy and generally works best for solid tumors contained in one area. The goals of surgery range from diagnosing cancer to restoring the body’s appearance or function. Each cancer type has specific cancer operations that may be … Read more

Tips for Preparing for Photopheresis

Photopheresis is a unique medical therapy that involves temporarily removing blood from a patient, mixing the blood with a medication, exposing the blood to ultraviolet (UV) light to activate the drug, and then reinfusing the blood into the patient. The technique is used to treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common and potentially severe side effect … Read more

Can Marijuana Benefit Cancer Patients?

Marijuana occupies a complicated position among the substances used to alleviate symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment. On the one hand, most U.S. states have legalized cannabis (the plant from which marijuana is derived) for medical purposes. On the other hand, federal law prohibits the prescription or possession of marijuana.   Although cannabis has been … Read more