New protein-targeting drug shows promise in early trial for patients with high-risk CLL (May 15, 2013)Dana-Farber investigators led a phase 1 trial in which a new oral targeted drug, idelalisib, (GS-1101), showed the potential to stave off the need for additional treatments for relapsed or treatment-resistant CLL.
Scientists find mutation driving pediatric brain tumors (April 30, 2013)A type of low-grade but sometimes lethal brain tumor in children has been found to contain an unusual mutation that may help to classify, diagnose and guide the treatment of the tumors.
Study illuminates biology behind promising therapy for graft-versus-host disease (April 11, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers detail how low doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) can alleviate chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and possibly lead to better treatment for other immune disorders.
Genetic biomarker may help identify neuroblastomas vulnerable to novel class of drugs (April 9, 2013)An irregularity within many neuroblastoma cells may indicate whether the tumor is vulnerable to a new class of anti-cancer drugs known as BET bromodomain inhibitors.
Some patients with incurable tumors and BRCA mutations respond to new two-drug combination (April 7, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists find when given together, two orally available experimental drugs – sapacitabine and seliciclib – worked together to elicit antitumor effects in patients with incurable BRCA-deficient cancers.
Blood tests can provide fuller picture of mutations in cancer than traditional biopsies do, research finds (April 6, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find blood test can provide fuller picture of cancer mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors than biopsy.
Targeted toxin active in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers (April 6, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find novel antibody-guided drug achieves responses in platinum drug-resistant ovarian cancer.
Scientists find potential loophole in pancreatic cancer defenses (March 27, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists found that pancreatic cancer cells' growth and spread are fueled by an unusual metabolic pathway that someday might be blocked with targeted drugs to control the deadly cancer.
Study finds molecular 'signature' for rapidly increasing form of esophageal cancer (March 24, 2013)A study by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute, and other research centers, may offer clues to why rates of esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs) have risen so sharply. The findings, in Nature Genetics, point to an array of abnormal genes and proteins that may be lynchpins of EAC cell growth and therefore serve as targets for new therapies.
Study reveals how inherited risk factors in 'junk DNA' affect breast cancer predisposition (February 26, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists have linked genetic variants to the regulation of genes involved in breast cancer, including four genes not previously implicated in breast cancer, shedding new insights into the biology of breast cancer.
Study tracks genetic evolution of form of leukemia, may help physicians predict course of disease, tailor therapies (February 14, 2013)Dana-Farber and Broad Institute researchers for the first time are able to show the past, present, and future of CLL tumors.
New strategy prevents rheumatoid arthritis in mice (February 8, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists have demonstrated a new strategy for treating autoimmune disease that successfully blocked the development of rheumatoid arthritis in a mouse model. They say it holds promise for improved treatment of arthritis and other autoimmune disorders in people.
Researchers discover new mutations driving malignant melanoma (January 24, 2013)Dana-Farber and Broad Institute researchers have identified two mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors. These highly "recurrent" mutations may be the most common mutations in melanoma cells found to date.
Genomic sequencing identifies mutant 'drivers' of common brain tumor (January 23, 2013)Scientists from Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute have identified two DNA mutations that appear to drive about 15 percent of meningiomas, a finding that could lead to the first effective drug treatments for the brain tumor.
Study shows promise of molecular screening for gynecologic cancers, commentary writers state (January 09, 2013)A new study that proposes a three-in-one test for gynecologic cancers underscores the promise of molecular screening for early detection of endometrial and ovarian cancers, but also suggests that such tests are not yet ready for clinical use. Andrea Myers, MD, PhD, a co-author of the commentary on the study, says the test is an important step in that direction.
Some men voice complaints of shortened penis following prostate cancer treatment (January 02, 2013)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center report a small percentage of men in a prostate cancer study complained that their penis seemed shorter following treatment, causing them to regret the type of treatment they chose.
Drug shortage linked to greater risk of relapse in young Hodgkin lymphoma patients (December 26, 2012)A national drug shortage has been linked to a higher rate of relapse among Hodgkin lymphoma patients enrolled in a national pediatric clinical trial, report researchers involved in the study.
Patients with family history of colorectal cancer may be at risk for aggressive form of the disease, study finds (December 14, 2012)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers report that when people with a family history of colorectal cancer develop the disease, their tumors often carry a molecular sign that the cancer could be life-threatening.
Researchers find new culprit in castration-resistant prostate cancer (December 14, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists have discovered a molecular switch that enables advanced prostate cancers to spread without stimulation by male hormones, a finding that could serve as a treatment target for castration-resistant prostate cancers.
Potential gene therapy approach to sickle cell disease highlighted at national hematology meeting (December 11, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have taken the first preliminary steps toward developing a form of gene therapy for sickle cell disease.
Blood levels of immune protein predict risk in Hodgkin disease (December 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers found levels of galectin-1, an immunity-related protein, could be the basis of a test, and potentially a targeted treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Experimental graft-versus-host disease treatment equivalent to standard care in phase 3 trial (December 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers found that an experimental drug combination for preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was not significantly better than the standard regimen of care, but that the new combination could provide an alternative that could be preferable in certain scenarios.
Intensified chemotherapy shows promise for children with very high-risk form of leukemia (December 10, 2012)Pediatric patients with B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia who are likely to relapse after chemotherapy treatment can reduce those odds by receiving additional courses of chemotherapy, according to research by Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center investigators.
Researchers discover regulator linking exercise to bigger, stronger muscles (December 06, 2012)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have isolated a previously unknown protein in muscles that spurs their growth and increased power following resistance exercise. They suggest that artificially raising the protein’s levels might someday help prevent muscle loss caused by cancer, prolonged inactivity in hospital patients, and aging.
Researchers report first success of targeted therapy in most common genetic subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (November 27, 2012)A new study by an international team of investigators led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists is the first to demonstrate that chemotherapy and a new, targeted therapy work better in combination than chemotherapy alone in treating patients with the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer.
New oral drug overcomes resistance in patients with rare sarcoma after failure of standard targeted therapies (November 21, 2012)A new targeted drug demonstrated its ability to control metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor, an uncommon and life-threatening form of sarcoma, after the disease had become resistant to all existing therapies, report investigators at Dana-Farber who led the worldwide clinical trial.
Gene mutation identifies colorectal cancer patients who live longer with aspirin therapy, study finds (October 24, 2012)A new study by Dana-Farber researchers shows aspirin therapy can extend the life of colorectal cancer patients whose tumors carry a mutation in a key gene, but has no effect on patients who lack the mutation.
Targeting cancers' 'addiction' to cell-cycle proteins shuts down tumors in mice (October 17, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists have safely shut down breast cancer and a form of leukemia in mice by targeting abnormal proteins to which the cancers are "addicted."
New tool determines leukemia cells' 'readiness to die,' may guide clinical care (October 11, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have developed a method for determining how ready acute myeloid leukemia cells are to die, a finding that may enable oncologists to choose more effective treatments for their patients.
Researchers identify three subtypes of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (September 19, 2012)Research led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists may soon enable doctors to determine which patients with the most common form of ovarian cancer – high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) – are most likely to benefit from a certain class of drugs.
Molecule shows effectiveness against drug-resistant myeloma (September 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report that the molecule P5091 triggers cell death in multiple myeloma cancer cells that have become resistant to Velcade.
Predictive molecular signature in lymphoma may direct targeted therapy (September 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have found a genetic signature in tumors to help them determine if diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients will benefit more from traditional therapies or targeted therapies.
New potential targets discovered for treating squamous cell lung cancers (September 09, 2012) The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has identified a large number and variety of DNA alterations in squamous cell lung cancer tumors, which could serve as potential therapeutic targets for treating the second most common type of lung cancer.
A male contraceptive pill in the making? (August 16, 2012)A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber shows a small molecule compound called JQ1 can generate reversible birth control in male mice.
Going viral: Proteins identify potential cancer-related genes (July 30, 2012)In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an international team of associates used a technique involving viral proteins to prioritize which of the many mutated genes in tumor cells are likely involved in cancer and which are mere bystanders.
Key mutations discovered for most common childhood brain cancer (July 23, 2012)Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center researchers have linked genetic mutations to each of the four recognized subtypes of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of children.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists target newly isolated 'beige fat' cells that could help fight obesity (July 12, 2012)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have isolated a new type of energy-burning fat cell called "beige fat" in adult humans which they say may have therapeutic potential for treating obesity.
Tumor microenvironment helps skin cancer cells resist drug treatment (July 05, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers are studying melanoma tumors' microenvironments to better understand how some melanoma continue to grow and survive despite the presence of anti-cancer drugs.
Breast cancer's many drivers (June 20, 2012)In one of the largest breast cancer sequencing efforts to date, scientists from Dana-Farber and their colleagues have discovered surprising alterations in genes that were not previously associated with breast cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant the only 'definitive treatment' for myelodysplastic syndrome (June 13, 2012)The pre-cancerous blood disorder myelodsysplastic syndrome (MDS) affects between 35,000 and 55,000 people in the United States. Dana-Farber's David Steensma, MD, discusses MDS and its treatment.
New targeted therapy effective in patients with drug-resistant metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (June 04, 2012)Regorafenib was found to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by more than 70 percent in patients whose tumors had become resistant to Gleevec and Sutent.
Study reports first success of targeted therapy in most common genetic subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (May 31, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report a novel compound has become the first targeted therapy to benefit patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
New strategy directly activates cellular 'death protein' (May 31, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have devised a strategy to directly activate a natural "death" protein, triggering the self-destruction of cells — which could lead to new possibilities for designing cancer drugs.
New drug strategy attacks resistant leukemia and lymphoma (May 29, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have created a peptide that overcomes drug resistance and reactivates programmed cell death in recurrent blood cancers.
Reverse engineering epilepsy's 'miracle' diet (May 24, 2012)The discovery of a connection between seizure resistance and a protein that modifies metabolism in the brain may result in a new treatment for epilepsy that parallels the results of the ketogenic diet, say researchers from Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School.
Novel treatment exposes melanoma to immune system attack (May 23, 2012)A clinical trial for advanced melanoma caused growths to recede or stabilize in half of the participants by blocking a protein interaction that prevents T cells from attacking cancerous cells, reports lead author Stephen Hodi, MD.
Hormone-depleting drug shows promise against localized high-risk prostate tumors (May 16, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have demonstrated that a hormone-depleting drug can help eliminate or nearly eliminate aggressive prostate cancers that have yet to spread beyond the prostate.
New under the sun: recurrent genetic mutations in melanoma (May 09, 2012)Scientists from Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute have sequenced 25 melanoma tumors and confirmed the long-held suspicion that chronic sun exposure plays a role in skin cancer.
Advanced pancreatic tumors depend on continued oncogene activity (April 30, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report that advanced pancreatic cancers are dependent on the continued expression of a mutant oncogene that "rewires" key metabolic pathways, which suggests that these altered pathways might be potential targets for future drugs.
Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients (April 17, 2012)Adding Avastin to standard chemotherapy treatment may not improve survival rates for people with non-small cell lung cancer aged 65 plus, according to Dana-Farber researchers, who further suggest that clinicians exercise caution in including the drug in treatment recommendations.
First targeted nanomedicine to enter cancer clinical studies (April 06, 2012)A multi-institutional team of researchers has published a study that demonstrates a novel therapy works against solid tumors. It is the first targeted and programmed nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies.
Writing the book of cancer knowledge (March 30, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists and colleagues have published results from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, a resource that marries cancer genome data with predictors of drug responses. This information could refine cancer clinical trials and future treatments.
'Co-clinical trials' help focus lung cancer research (March 28, 2012)By conducting simultaneous clinical trials in patients and labs, Dana-Farber researchers and colleagues have been able to predict how patients with non-small cell lung cancer respond to combination therapy.
DNA marker predicts platinum drug response in breast, ovarian cancer (March 23, 2012)Scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their colleagues have found a genetic marker that predicts which aggressive "triple negative" breast cancers and certain ovarian cancers will likely respond to platinum-based chemotherapies.
Researchers identify new subtype of ovarian cancer may be vulnerable to anti-angiogenic drugs (February 15, 2012)The discovery of a subtype of ovarian cancer that could account for up to one-third of all serous ovarian cancers may lead to clinical trials using anti-angiogenic drugs that are already being tested in other cancers.
Newly identified fusion genes in lung and colorectal cancer may guide treatment with 'targeted' drugs (February 13, 2012)Newly discovered gene mutations in certain non-small cell and colorectal cancers share similarities with other genetic abnormalities that are known to respond to targeted cancer treatments. This suggests that existing therapies, already approved, could be used to treat patients with these tumors.
Three 'targeted' cancer drugs raise risk of fatal side effects (February 6, 2012)Treatment with three "targeted" cancer drugs has been linked to a slightly elevated chance of fatal side effects, according to a new analysis led by scientists at Dana-Farber. These risks remain low, but they should be factored in when developing patients’ treatment plans.
'Pulverized' chromosomes linked to cancer? (January 19, 2012) In a paper published online yesterday by the journal Nature, Dana-Farber researchers map out a mechanism by which micronuclei could potentially disrupt the chromosomes within them and produce cancer-causing gene mutations. The findings may point to a vulnerability in cancer cells that could be attacked by new therapies.
Researchers isolate messenger protein linking exercise to health benefits (January 11, 2012)Researchers have isolated a natural hormone from muscle cells that triggers some of the key health benefits of exercise. Irisin, which switches on genes that convert white fat into "good" brown fat, may hold promise as a novel treatment for diabetes, obesity and perhaps other disorders, including cancer.
Targeting EETs to treat cardiovascular disease may prove a double-edged sword (December 19, 2011)A study documents the connection between increased levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET) lipids and cancer growth and metastasis opening the door to a new avenue for cancer treatment.
Experimental drug combination 'encouraging' in relapsed multiple myeloma (December 12, 2011)A phase 2 clinical trial has shown that pairing bortezomib with an experimental drug, panobinostat, may be a promising treatment for patients with advanced multiple myeloma when the targeted drug bortezomib stops working alone.
Researchers identify genetic mutation responsible for most cases of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (December 12, 2011)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a gene mutation that underlies the vast majority of cases of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, a rare form of lymphoma that has eluded all previous efforts to find a genetic cause.
Massive DNA search uncovers new mutations driving blood cancer (December 12, 2011)Researchers have found several new altered genes that drive chronic lymphocitic leukemia through powerful DNA sequencing, a finding that could potentially help doctors predict whether a patient’s disease will progress rapidly or remain indolent for years.
Peptide 'cocktail' elicits immune response to multiple myeloma (December 12, 2011)Scientists have created a "cocktail" combination of four antigenic peptides derived from myeloma cells they believe could provoke the body's defenses to attack multiple myeloma in its early "smoldering" phase and slow or prevent the blood cancer.
Therapy improves stem cell engraftment in umbilical cord blood transplant recipients (December 12, 2011)A therapy involving a natural compound may improve the ability of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to engraft in patients receiving a stem cell transplant for cancer or other diseases.
Researchers identify a novel therapeutic approach for liver cancer (December 9, 2011)Researchers have identified a mechanism that triggers inflammation in the liver and transforms normal cells into cancerous ones, a finding that could lead to the treatment or prevention of liver cancer.
New study reassures on heart risks of prostate cancer treatment (December 6, 2011)Hormone-blocking therapy for prostate cancer doesn't raise the risk of fatal heart attacks - as some recent studies had suggested - according to a new report from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.
New approach to graft-versus-host disease treatment results in sustained improvement for some patients (November 30, 2011)In a study that seems to pivot on a paradox, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have used an immune system stimulant as an immune system suppressor to treat a common, often debilitating side effect of donor stem cell transplantation in cancer patients.
Study identifies possible therapy for radiation sickness (November 23, 2011)A combination of two drugs may alleviate radiation sickness in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation, even when the therapy is given a day after the exposure occurred, according to a study led by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston.
Profile: Accelerating the development of personalized cancer care (October 24, 2011)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have launched Profile, one of the most comprehensive cancer research studies to help accelerate the development of personalized treatments for every person with cancer.
Combination antibody therapy shows promise (June 6, 2011)A duo of drugs can be safely administered and are potentially more effective than either drug alone for advanced, inoperable melanomas, according to a phase I clinical trial led by Dana-Farber investigators.
Scientists identify overactive genes in aggressive breast cancers (June 2, 2011)Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, and colleagues identified a network of growth-spurring genes that drive stem-like breast cancer cells enriched in triple-negative breast tumors.
Biomarker activation appears associated with improved survival (April 27, 2011)A protein biomarker may predict better chances of survival for obese patients with colorectal cancer, but it provided no prognostic value for non-obese patients, Dana-Farber researchers report.
Technique extends cancer-fighting cells’ potency in melanoma patients (April 27, 2011)Dana-Farber scientists have developed a technique that can cause white blood cells trained to attack tumors to survive in patients’ bloodstreams for well over a year, and, in some cases, without the need of other, highly toxic treatments.
Study identifies a promising target for AIDS vaccine (April 1, 2011)A section of the AIDS virus's protein envelope known as the V3 loop and once considered an improbable target for a vaccine now appears to be one of the most promising, according to research authored by Dana-Farber's Ruth Ruprecht, MD, PhD.
Scientists find 'core pathway' causing declining health in old age (February 9, 2011)Dana-Farber researchers have found that the basic cause of age-related health decline is malfunctioning telomeres — the end-caps on cells' chromosomes that protect them against DNA damage.
Researchers offer sweeping view of prostate cancer genome (February 9, 2011)Researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber and Weill Cornell Medical College have laid bare the full genetic blueprint of multiple prostate tumors, uncovering alterations that have never before been detected and offering a deep view of the genetic missteps that underlie the disease.
Molecular predictor of metastatic prostate cancer identified (February 2, 2011)Prostate tumors that carry a "signature" of four molecular markers have the potential to become dangerously metastatic if not treated aggressively, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers report in an online study published by the journal Nature.
Study identifies potential mechanism of drug resistance of CLL (December 6, 2010)Dana-Farber investigators found that when CLL cells from patients were grown with non-cancerous support cells from the bone marrow and lymph nodes, the CLL cells were more resistant to apoptosis — and hence harder to kill with treatment — than were CLL cells from the bloodstream.
Trio of drugs makes major mark against multiple myeloma (May 18, 2010)Initial results of a novel three-drug combination therapy in patients with multiple myeloma have been so encouraging that Dana-Farber researchers believe the treatment may delay the need for a stem cell transplant in some cases.
OncoMap guides search for patterns in tumors (January 26, 2010)Conceiving a new use for existing technology can have as big an impact as inventing a novel technology itself. Witness the OncoMap program in Dana-Farber's Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, which helps scientists tap information in tumor samples to advance understanding of adult and childhood cancers.
Radiation research has dual role (September 28, 2009)Researchers have not only helped develop the first-ever test for radiation exposure, but also found leads toward drugs that could reduce the harmful effects of radiation.
Found: Protein that stops spread of cancer (September 28, 2009)Dana-Farber researcher Jean Zhao, PhD, and a team of fellow Dana-Farber scientists have added a new piece to the puzzle of explaining how a series of molecular changes enables free-floating cancer cells to survive and spread.
Researchers uncover clues to origins of ovarian cancer (July 22, 2009)Some cancers seem to burst onto the scene in an advanced, malignant state, having already overrun a wide swath of tissue in the body. One of the most common of these tumors is known as serous ovarian cancer. Dana-Farber scientists are trying to search for their source.
Drug treatment supercharges production of cord blood stem cells (May 20, 2009)A novel drug treatment that supercharges the production of cord blood stem cells could improve outcomes of cord blood stem cell transplants.
MicroRNA assume new role in DNA repair (May 14, 2009)Among their many talents as message couriers and gene regulators, microRNA molecules also help control the repair of damaged DNA within cells, Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School scientists have found.
New hope for patients with rare brain tumors (March 11, 2009)A few young children may be cured and others given a better shot at long term survival thanks to a new therapy regimen administered to young patients with an aggressive type of brain tumor, say Dana-Farber researchers.
Tiny particles offer big promise for lung cancer treatment (February 26, 2009)Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, a cardiothoracic surgeon in the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, is testing a small solution to the problem of lung cancer recurrence following surgery.
Protein biomarkers may guide breast cancer treatment (February 2, 2009)Dana-Farber researchers have identified a set of proteins that may aid in the treatment of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer designated "triple-negative."
International consortium to catalog cancer's secrets (July 23, 2008)Leading research institutions in nine countries, including Dana-Farber, have joined forces to uncover the genetic changes that make cancer cells dangerous and elusive.
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