In the complex fight against cancer, Dana-Farber researchers are advancing the field on every front. They are probing the molecular changes that cause tumors, testing new drug therapies, addressing the needs of cancer survivors, and improving the delivery of care.
Here are some noteworthy progress reports published in leading scientific journals:
Study shows new cancer drug safe and promising for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (August 12, 2016)
A new study led by Dana-Farber researchers shows Venclexta, the first of a new class of drugs that targets cancer cells’ survival proteins, achieved responses in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) who had relapsed or were resistant to or couldn’t tolerate chemotherapy.
Insurance status impacts survival in men with testicular cancer (August 8, 2016)
Men with testicular cancer who were uninsured or on Medicaid had a higher risk of death from what is normally a curable disease than insured patients, a new study from Dana-Farber researchers found.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute monetizes royalty interests derived from immunotherapy patents with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (August 5, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has monetized a portion of its interest in royalties defined by certain licensing agreements related to its Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) intellectual property.
U.S. News & World Report names Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center the best in the region in cancer (August 2, 2016)
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center has been named the best for cancer care in New England for the 16th straight year, and fourth overall in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Immunotherapy benefits relapsed stem cell transplant recipients (July 13, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that using repeated doses of an immunotherapy drug can restore a complete remission for some relapsed stem cell transplant recipients.
Researchers identify calorie-burning pathway in fat cells with potential for obesity treatment (June 30, 2016)
Investigators at Dana-Farber have identified a natural molecular pathway that enables cells to burn off calories as heat rather than store them as fat.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's remains nation's #1 pediatric cancer program (June 21, 2016)
For the third year in a row, U.S. News & World Report named Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center the nation's #1 pediatric cancer program in its new 2016-17 Best Children's Hospitals rankings.
Surgery can lengthen survival of metastatic kidney cancer patients treated with targeted therapies, study finds (June 20, 2016)
Researchers find cytoreductive nephrectomy may offer an overall survival benefit to patients with metastatic kidney cancer who are treated with targeted therapies.
Dana-Farber joins forces with Boston medical institutions to establish first area cell transplantation center (June 16, 2016)
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), three of Harvard’s clinical affiliates, including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and a biopharmaceutical company have formed a unique collaboration to establish the Boston Autologous Islet Replacement Program (BAIRT) to accelerate a cure for diabetes.
Dana-Farber researcher selected as 2016 Pew-Stewart Scholar (June 10, 2016)
Dana-Farber researcher Stephanie Dougan, PhD, was one of five early-career cancer scientists selected as a 2016 Pew-Stewart Scholar
Pembrolizumab elicits significant anti-tumor activity in advanced head and neck cancer patients (June 6, 2016)
Treating head and neck cancer patients with recurrent or metastatic disease with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab achieved significant clinical responses in nearly a fifth of the patients from a phase II clinical trial.
Drug combination drives HER2-positive breast cancer brain metastases into long-term remission in mouse study (June 6, 2016)
Dana-Farber scientists report a combination of targeted therapies successfully drove HER2-positive breast cancer brain metastases into long-term remissions in mice. The drug combination could provide first long-lasting treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer patients with brain metastases.
Dual stem-cell transplant improves outlook for children with high-risk neuroblastoma (June 5, 2016)
Children with high-risk neuroblastoma whose treatment included two autologous stem-cell transplants were more likely to be cancer-free three years later than patients who underwent a single transplant, according to results of a Phase 3 clinical trial presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The tandem transplant technique produced even better results when followed with immunotherapy agents.
Direct patient engagement through social media speeds recruitment to cancer research study (June 4, 2016)
A crowd-sourcing strategy aimed at accelerating research into metastatic breast cancer has registered more than 2,000 patients from all 50 states in its first seven months, report researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
Researchers find new way to inhibit mutant protein driving most common form of lung cancer (May 31, 2016)
Scientists at Dana-Farber report that they’ve been able to shut down a mutant enzyme critical to lung cancer cells by chemically blindsiding it.
Science commentary explores ways to pay for success in gene therapy (May 26, 2016)
As a new generation of gene therapy clinical trials shows promise to cure or halt the progression of several rare diseases, the time has come to explore ways to pay for the cutting edge treatments, Stuart Orkin, MD, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center argues in a commentary in the journal Science.
Evidence suggesting link between cancer and light therapy for newborn jaundice is inconclusive but warrants consideration (May 23, 2016)
Two new studies raise enough questions about a possible link between childhood cancer and light therapy for newborn jaundice that clinicians should exercise caution in prescribing the treatment for infants whose jaundice is likely to resolve on its own, according to an editorial published in the journal Pediatrics. The suggestion of a link, however, should not deter use of the treatment, also known as phototherapy, in babies who otherwise would be at risk of brain damage or hearing loss.
Investigational drug abemaciclib shows promising activity against several cancer types (May 23, 2016)
Dana-Farber physician-researchers report in a new study that the CDK inhibitor abemaciclib yielded encouraging and durable results against several different types of cancers, including breast cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma, and melanoma.
Dana-Farber’s MatchMiner wins Harvard Business School’s Precision Trials Challenge (May 20, 2016)
MatchMiner, an open computational platform developed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for matching patient-specific genomic profiles to precision cancer medicine clinical trials, has been named the winner of the Precision Trials Challenge.
Dana-Farber research presented at 2016 ASCO conference (May 20, 2016)
Dana-Farber investigators will present over 70 research presentations at the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago next month.
New cancer immunotherapy approach combines tumor fighting power with fewer side effects, study shows (May 16, 2016)
Basic research into the dual nature of certain immune system cells has set the stage for a new approach to cancer immunotherapy that avoids some of the shortcomings associated with other methods, scientists at Dana-Farber report in a new study.
Breast cancer patients who lack knowledge about their own tumor are less likely to receive recommended treatment, study finds (May 10, 2016)
A new study by Dr. Rachel Freedman finds that breast cancer patients who understood characteristics of their own tumor were more likely to receive recommended therapies.
Myles Brown, MD, elected to the National Academy of Sciences (May 5, 2016)
Myles Brown, MD, Brown, director of the Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has been elected to The National Academy of Sciences.
Dana-Farber and Fitbit partner to test if weight loss can prevent breast cancer recurrence (April 27, 2016)
Dana-Farber is teaming up with Fitbit to test if weight loss can help prevent breast cancer recurrence among overweight women with early stage disease. This first of its kind study has potential to create a new standard of treatment for millions of breast cancer patients around the world.
William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, receives Princess Takamatsu award from AACR (April 21, 2016)
William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, of Dana-Farber has received the 10th annual Princess Takamatsu Award for "novel and significant work" in cancer from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
Anti-PD-1 immunotherapy boosts long-term survival in metastatic melanoma (April 17, 2016)
One-third of patients with metastatic melanoma in a phase 1 clinical trial have survived five years after treatment with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab, which blocks the PD-1 immune checkpoint, reports a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientist.
Genomic makeup of colorectal cancers predicts immune system ability to fight tumors, study suggests (April 14, 2016)
Colorectal cancers heavily bedecked with tumor-related proteins called neoantigens are likely to be permeated with disease-fighting white blood cells, researchers at Dana-Farber report in a new study.
New public repository of patient-derived cancer models aims to improve drug testing (April 11, 2016)
Testing experimental cancer drugs in mouse models with patient-derived tumors could reduce the high failure rate of drugs in early clinical trials, according to a report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists.
'Liquid biopsy' blood test accurately detects key genetic mutations in most common form of lung cancer, study finds (April 7, 2016)
A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report in a new study.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research join Collaborative Cancer Cloud (March 31, 2016)
Dana-Farber will be joining the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, a precision medicine analytics platform that will increase speed and affordability to data-sharing.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute leading prostate cancer study in men of African descent (March 15, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers are leading a multicenter genetic study of prostate cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa to try to find new information about the genetic etiology of prostate cancer.
New agent overcomes drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer, preclinical study shows (March 14, 2016)
Dana-Farber researchers identify new agent that resensitizes drug-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer tumors to front-line therapies in preclinical study. This discovery will lead to the launch clinical trial of the new agent in women with a metastatic form of the disease.
Study explores how high-fat diet influences colon cancer (March 2, 2016)A study published in Nature reveals how a high-fat diet makes the cells of the intestinal lining more likely to become cancerous. The new study of mice suggests that a high-fat diet drives a population boom of intestinal stem cells and also generates a pool of other cells that behave like stem cells — that is, they can reproduce themselves indefinitely and differentiate into other cell types. These stem cells and "stem-like" cells are more likely to give rise to intestinal tumors.
Cancer patients with limited finances more likely to have increased symptoms and poorer quality of life (February 29, 2016)If you’re a lung or colorectal cancer patient, your finances could determine your level of suffering and quality of life during treatment, according to a new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.
Patients with advanced cancer want to know their genomics test results (February 26, 2016)An overwhelming majority of people with incurable cancer want to hear findings from DNA sequencing of their own tumors and normal cells, and to learn how those results may affect their health and treatment options, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists report.
International collection of open reading frames now totals 80 percent of human protein-coding genes, collaboration reports (February 25, 2016)An international collaboration of organizations, including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has reached a milestone in creating a library of complete genetic blueprints for the thousands of different proteins in human cells.
New research shows how financial engineering could make life-saving drugs more available and affordable (February 24, 2016)Stratospheric costs for therapies not yet covered by insurance put some drugs out of reach for many patients. Securitized consumer healthcare loans could spread the cost of therapies over many years providing more patients access to the drugs.
Childhood leukemia patients from high-poverty areas more likely to suffer early relapse (February 23, 2016)Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who live in high-poverty areas are substantially more likely to suffer early relapse than other patients, despite having received the same treatment. The findings are significant because ALL that relapses early is more difficult to successfully treat.
Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, named president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (February 23, 2016)Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, an internationally recognized immunologist, has been named the next president and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Board of Trustees announced today.
Immune response to flu vaccine linked to recipients' ethnic background (February 16, 2016)
How well a flu shot protects you from the virus can depend on your ethnic background and other inherited factors, report Dana-Farber scientists.
Alternative proteins encoded by the same gene have widely divergent functions in cells (February 11, 2016)
In a first large-scale systematic study led by researchers at Dana-Farber, scientists found that most sibling proteins – known as "protein isoforms" encoded by the same gene – often play radically different roles within tissues and cells, however alike they may be structurally.
Testing for BRCA mutations reaches high levels among young women with breast cancer, study finds (February 11, 2016)
In a new study, Dana-Farber researchers find that BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing for young women with breast cancer reaches new high levels. Results of these genetic tests are increasingly used to guide treatment and many who don’t carry such mutations still opt for bilateral mastectomy.
Dana-Farber to study ways to reduce overtreatment of DCIS (February 5, 2016)
Dana-Farber investigators receive $13.3 million in funding to study whether some groups of patients with DCIS who do not benefit from standard treatment, could be effectively managed with surveillance alone.
Genetic cause identified in rare pediatric brain tumor (February 1, 2016)
Researchers found a way of differentiating angiocentric gliomas from other low-grade pediatric brain tumors and developed a pathological test that will help children avoid unnecessary and potentially damaging additional therapies.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Belfer Center announces Immuno-Oncology research collaboration with Array BioPharma (February 1, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today announced an immuno-oncology collaboration with potential applicability in a wide range of oncology indications with Array BioPharma.
Genetic sequencing can help guide treatment in children with solid tumors (January 28, 2016)
Clinical genomic sequencing is feasible in pediatric oncology and can be used to recommend therapy or pinpoint diagnosis in children with solid tumors according to research led by Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The findings, published in JAMA Oncology, represent a significant step in making precision medicine available to children with cancer.
Scientists discover important genetic source of human diversity (January 25, 2016)
Research by Dana-Farber scientists reveals genes with monoallelic expression are an important source of genetic diversity among people and also may help explain the genetic variation among cancer cells in a tumor.
Researchers advocate improvements in end-of-life care (January 19, 2016)
Three Dana-Farber researchers, writing in a special issue of JAMA published today, make the case for policies and practices that give terminally ill patients more control over how and where they will die.
Novel cause of ovarian cancer drug resistance identified (January 7, 2016)
Dana-Farber researchers identify an overactive genetic regulator that could aid in developing strategies to combat drug resistance in ovarian cancer.
Study identifies first potential targeted drug for triple-negative breast cancer and uncovers drug-resistance mechanism (January 6, 2016)
Dana-Farber researchers uncover first potential targeted drug for triple-negative breast cancer as well as vulnerability that could be exploited to slow or prevent the development of resistance to BET-inhibiting drugs.
Lung cancer found to be genetically different disease in young and older patients (December 17, 2015)
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in younger patients is a distinct disease, genetically and biologically, from NSCLC in older patients and may require a different treatment approach, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have found.
ASCO elects Dana-Farber's Bruce Johnson as 2017 president
(December 17, 2015)
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has chosen Bruce E. Johnson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to lead the prestigious cancer organization as its president in
Conjugate drug extends survival in patients
with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer (December 11, 2015)
Research by Dana-Farber physicians presented at the 38th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium shows a 44% survival improvement for patients with metastatic, HER2-positive
breast cancer who received the combination antibody/chemotherapy drug trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1).
Platelet-inhibiting drug does not significantly
reduce pain crises in sickle cell disease (December 8, 2015)
Treatment with the antiplatelet agent prasugrel does not significantly reduce the rate of pain crises or severe lung complications in children with sickle cell disease, according to a report
published in the New England Journal of Medicine describing one of the largest and most geographically diverse international clinical trials on sickle cell disease to date.
Three studies point to
effectiveness of new combination therapies for relapsed or drug-resistant multiple myeloma (December 7, 2015)
In a trio of studies presented at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting investigators from Dana-Farber shared results of clinical trials showing that new drug
combinations can significantly extend the time in which multiple myeloma is kept in check in patients with relapsed or treatment-resistant forms of the disease.
Studies highlight new drug targets or compounds for
acute myeloid leukemia (December 7, 2015)
Preclinical data from four studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology highlight potential treatment opportunities for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a
blood cancer accounting for approximately 20 percent of all childhood leukemias and 32 percent of adult leukemias. The research focuses on multiple vulnerabilities, including aspects of
the cells' metabolism, internal communications and ability to transport proteins.
Experimental drug is first targeted
therapy to improve survival in certain high-risk AML patients (December 6, 2015)
Dana-Farber scientists report that midostaurin added to standard chemotherapy is the first targeted treatment to improve survival of a high-risk, genetically defined subgroup of patients
with acute myeloid leukemia.
Children with childhood leukemia benefit from prophylactic antibiotics (December 6, 2015)
Prophylactic antibiotics significantly reduce the risk of serious bacterial infections in children during the critical first month of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most
common childhood cancer, according to investigators from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. While the overall cure rate for ALL is high, about one to two
percent of children die during the first month of therapy from treatment complications, primarily infection-related.
Early gene therapy results in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
promising (December 6, 2015)
Researchers reported promising preliminary outcomes for the first four children enrolled in a U.S. gene therapy trial for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), a life-threatening genetic blood and
immune disorder, at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. All four boys have improved between nine and 24 months following treatment.
Young adults with ALL have survival gain with pediatric
regimen (December 5, 2015)
Dana-Farber researchers report using a pediatric chemotherapy regimen to treat young adults ages 18-50 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia significantly improved their outcomes
compared to what has historically been achieved with "adult" treatment protocols.
Dana-Farber-led clinical trials lead to five new drug approvals
(December 4, 2015)
In a span of five weeks beginning in late October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave approval to five new cancer drugs that proved effective in Dana-Farber-led clinical trials – and, in some cases, derive from basic research in Dana-Farber laboratories.
Researchers call for hospitals to establish bereavement programs for families of deceased patients (November 11, 2015)Backed by a growing body of research, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are calling for all hospitals to establish bereavement programs for families of deceased patients.
Genome study identifies seven genetic subtypes of prostate cancer (November 6, 2015)New findings on prostate cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas may enable doctors to make better diagnoses and prognoses for patients and provide novel directions for therapies.
$20 million Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research challenge gift to expand collaborative cancer research between Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and MIT’s Koch Institute (October 28, 2015)The Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research has pledged $20 million to the Bridge Project, a collaborative research program of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, to accelerate the translation of interdisciplinary cancer solutions toward the clinic.
Study uses gene editing to take brakes off lab-based red blood cell production (October 22, 2015)Turning off a single gene leads to a roughly three-to-five-fold gain in the yield of laboratory methods for producing red blood cells from stem cells, according to new research published in Cell Stem Cell. The findings suggest a way to cost-effectively manufacture red blood cells from stem cells; the patients who could potentially benefit include those who cannot use blood currently available in blood banks.
Discovery opens door to new strategy for cancer immunotherapy (October 19, 2015)New research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists raises the prospect of cancer therapy that works by converting a tumor's best friends in the immune system into its gravest enemies.
Study charts 'genomic biography' of form of leukemia (October 14, 2015)A new study charts the "genomic biography" of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, identifying gene mutations driving its growth, and tracing the shift in mutations as the disease progresses and develops resistance to chemotherapy, demonstrating the power of sequencing DNA in a large group of tumor tissue samples.
Prostate cells undergo 'reprogramming' to form tumors, study finds (October 12, 2015)Researchers link early prostate cancer to alterations in a program controlled by a "master regulator" of cell growth. This insight could open new avenues for preventing and treating prostate cancer.
Disparities in outcomes for children with rare eye cancer suggest unequal access to primary care (October 5, 2015)Disparities in outcomes for children with retinoblastoma — a rare eye tumor usually discovered in routine pediatric check-ups — suggest unequal access to primary care, researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center report in a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Although virtually all the children in the study survived, Hispanic children and children who lived in disadvantaged areas were more likely to lose an eye due to late diagnosis.
Dana-Farber asserts joint inventorship on cancer immunotherapy patents (October 1, 2015)Dana-Farber is petitioning a federal court to determine that one of its scientists, Gordon Freeman, PhD, and another researcher are co-inventors on a series of cancer immunotherapy patents previously issued to a Japanese researcher and Japanese drug company.
Scientists target molecular 'addiction' in triple-negative breast cancer (September 28, 2015)Drugs that inhibit CDK7 may be a new therapy for treating triple-negative breast cancer.
New drug improves outcome in treatment resistant kidney cancer (September 25, 2015)A new drug for renal cell carcinoma slowed the growth of advanced kidney cancer in patients who became resistant to the first-line therapies that had previously kept it in check, according to results from a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Researchers develop strategy for determining how non-coding sequences contribute to disease risk (September 24, 2015)Dana-Farber scientists and colleagues use genome- and epigenome-editing tools to pinpoint disease-causing variants.
Almost one third of families of children with cancer have unmet basic needs during treatment (September 23, 2015)Almost one-third of families whose children were being treated for cancer faced food, housing or energy insecurity and one-quarter lost more than 40 percent of household income, according to a new study from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer.
Could aspirin treat breast cancer? (September 21, 2015)In the first ever randomized trial in the United States, researchers led by Dr. Wendy Chen will test whether aspirin helps women with breast cancer avoid recurrence and live longer.
Gene editing study reveals possible 'Achilles heel' of sickle cell disease (September 16, 2015)Researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, using CRISPR-based gene editing techniques, have found that changes to a small stretch of DNA may circumvent the genetic defect behind sickle cell disease (SCD), according to a study published in the journal Nature.
Immunotherapy agent benefits patients with drug-resistant multiple myeloma in first human trial (August 26, 2015)In its first clinical trial, a breakthrough antibody therapy produced at least partial remissions in a third of patients with multiple myeloma who had exhausted multiple prior treatments, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report.
Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients (August 17, 2015)Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new, large study from researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
New study confirms presence of exercise-induced hormone in humans (August 13, 2015)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientist Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, who discovered a hormone linked to some of the positive benefits of exercise, reports he has confirmed the hormone — named irisin — is produced in humans and increases during exercise.
Two-drug combination boosts survival in metastatic prostate cancer (August 5, 2015)Men with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer gained more than a year of survival when they received both hormone-blocking medications and chemotherapy right after diagnosis, rather than delaying the chemo until the cancer worsened, according to a study led by Dana-Farber’s Christopher Sweeney published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy shown to improve survival for patients with advanced ovarian cancer (August 3, 2015)Study led by Dr. Alexi Wright finds intraperitoneal chemotherapy substantially improves survival of ovarian cancer patients, but that many women who could benefit are not receiving the treatment.
U.S. News & World Report names Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center among best for cancer care (July 21, 2015)Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center has been named the best for cancer care in New England for the 15th straight year and fourth overall in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
New approach to treating B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia shows promise in preclinical studies (July 13, 2015)Dana-Farber's David Weinstock, MD, and colleagues report that a novel compound stops B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia tumor cell growth in pre-clinical studies; approach may be effective in other cancers as well.
Most teen and young adult cancer patients at end of life get aggressive care (July 9, 2015)More than two-thirds of adolescents and young adults dying of cancer utilized one or more aggressive interventions in the last month of life, according to a retrospective study published in JAMA Oncology. The findings suggest the need for more research into whether patients have been adequately supported to contemplate their end-of-life options or whether the pattern reflects their well-considered wishes.
Finding better ways to fight cancer means starting with the basics (July 1, 2015)The Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS at Dana-Farber is changing its name to the Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Lilly announce research collaboration (June 17, 2015)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Eli Lilly and Company announced a multiyear collaboration to research new medicines under development to fight cancer.
Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announce official opening of Dana-Farber's Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility (June 8, 2015)Dana-Farber's Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility in Boston's Innovation District will use cutting edge technology for research on improving cancer diagnosis and developing precision drugs matched to individual patients.
Fitness program shows significant gains for cancer survivor participants (June 1, 2015)Study led by Dr. Jennifer Ligibel finds exercise programs can improve quality of life for cancer survivors.
Researchers identify origin of chromosomal oddity in some cancer cells (May 27, 2015)In a new study published in Nature, Dana-Farber scientists demonstrate how a sudden, isolated shuffling of genetic material — known as chromothripsis — can occur.
New chemical technology boosts potency of targeted cancer therapy (May 21, 2015)A new technology developed at Dana-Farber may make it possible to target "undruggable" proteins and overcome drug resistance by using a cancer cell's own protein-degrading machinery to destroy, not just inhibit, cancer proteins.
International study of advanced prostate cancer genome finds abundance of potential targets for drug therapy (May 21, 2015)First study of the genomic composition of prostate cancer shows many patients have gene mutations that can be targeted with existing or potential drugs.
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center launches online resource for precision cancer medicine (May 20, 2015)Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center has a new website to connect patients and physicians with information about precision cancer medicine, including resources on what precision cancer is and how it can be applied to cancer care today.
Dana-Farber’s Garraway selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator (May 19, 2015)Dana-Farber's Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, has been selected as one of 26 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.
New drug combination boosts survival in advanced stomach and esophageal cancers (May 14, 2015)Patients whose metastatic stomach or esophageal cancers were driven by a mutated HER2 gene had markedly improved response rates and survival when bevacizumab (Avastin) was added to a standard drug combination according to a new study led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
New drug combination extends survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (May 13, 2015)Research led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute showed a new drug combination lengthened the lives of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, all of whom had exhausted available standard treatments.
New blood test quickly reveals severity of radiation injury (May 13, 2015)A new blood test could greatly improve triage of victims of radiation accidents by rapidly predicting who will survive, who will die, and who should receive immediate medical countermeasures, according to scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's opens Phase I trial of immunotherapy for children with relapsed or treatment-resistant leukemia (May 11, 2015)Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center has joined a Memorial Sloan Kettering clinical trial of immunotherapy for children with relapsed or treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s is the only site in New England to offer this breakthrough experimental approach that triggers a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.
Statin drugs can delay prostate cancer progression in patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy, study shows (May 7, 2015)New research suggests that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs could be a valuable addition to current therapies for prostate cancer.
Multiple types of resistance to new lung cancer drug identified (May 4, 2015)After identifying three different types of resistance to a promising investigational lung cancer drug, a team of researchers led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists say new targeted inhibitors and combinations are urgently needed to stay ahead of tumors’ constant and varied molecular shape-shifting.
New targeted drug promising treatment option in resistant EGFR-positive lung cancers (April 29, 2015)A study led by Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, found that an experimental drug targeted to the resistance mutation is highly active in patients with EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when the disease progressed during treatment with front-line inhibitor drugs.
Dana-Farber researcher awarded prestigious European scientific prize (April 24, 2015)Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has received Belgium's most important international scientific prize for his contributions to understanding the mechanisms of metabolic disorders.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Irish Cancer Society join to advance cancer research (April 23, 2015)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and the Irish Cancer Society have formed the Boston-Ireland Prostate Cancer Collaboration. This new entity will conduct and facilitate exchanges of researchers and knowledge between Boston and Ireland.
Minor gene mutations can produce extensive disruption of protein interactions, study finds (April 23, 2015)In a new study, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute show that disruptions to the activity of cell proteins can reveal which genetic mutations lead to disease and which are mere bystanders.
Olaparib and investigational PI3K inhibitor BKM120 combination active against ovarian and breast cancer subtypes (April 21, 2015)Dana-Farber researchers report that combination treatment with olaparib and BKM120 was safe and yielded evidence of clinical benefit for women with triple-negative breast cancer and for those with high-grade serous ovarian cancer in a phase I clinical trial.
Nivolumab plus ipilimumab as first-line therapy achieve high response rate in advanced melanoma (April 20, 2015)Dana-Farber researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that treating advanced melanoma patients initially with the combination of the immunotherapy drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab achieves a much higher response rate than treatment with ipilimumab alone.
Dana-Farber's D'Andrea selected to lead new SU2C Ovarian Cancer Dream Team (April 20, 2015)Dana-Farber's Alan D'Andrea, MD, has been selected to lead a Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team devoted to ovarian cancer research. The team will focus on DNA repair therapies for ovarian cancer.
New Waldenström’s drug shows sustained benefit at two years (April 8, 2015)Dana-Farber researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that ibrutinib, a newly approved drug for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia, continues to control the rare blood cancer, with 95 percent of patients surviving for two years.
Promising drug target identified in medulloblastoma (March 26, 2015)Scientists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have identified a protein critical to both normal brain development and, in many cases, the development of medulloblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor that usually strikes children under 10. According to a report in the journal Developmental Cell, halving the level of the protein Eya1 in mice prone to develop medulloblastoma dramatically reduced the animals' risk of dying from the disease.
Oral chemotherapy animated video series launches for cancer patients (March 10, 2015)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has created a four-part, web-based oral chemotherapy animated video series to help educate patients and their families about the benefits and risks of oral chemotherapy.
App developed in collaboration with Dana-Farber researchers allows breast cancer survivors to share symptoms instantly (March 9, 2015)A new iPhone app launched by Apple today will provide physician researchers with instant data from breast cancer survivors with a goal of providing patients improved post-treatment quality of life.
Unregulated web marketing of genetic tests for personalized cancer care raises concerns in new study (March 5, 2015)Websites that market personalized cancer care services often overemphasize their purported benefits and downplay their limitations, and many sites offer genetic tests whose value for guiding cancer treatment has not been shown to be clinically useful, according to a new study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Five things you need to know about colorectal cancer (March 3, 2015)With March marking Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt answers some key questions about the disease.
Novel precision medicine tool could help personalize cancer treatments (February 26, 2015)A new laboratory test predicts which of several cancer drugs will work best against a patient's tumor, and could become a powerful precision medicine tool for individualizing cancer therapy.
Dana-Farber experts share five things you should know about precision medicine (February 18, 2015)Dana-Farber experts share five things you should know about precision medicine.
Study identifies promising drug target in certain breast and ovarian cancers (February 13, 2015)A study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists indicates that the pool of patients who can benefit from the drug olaparib is potentially much wider — and offers a ready means of identifying them.
Large study catalogs genetic culprits in head and neck cancers (January 28, 2015)Scientists publish the first comprehensive catalog of genetic mutations and other abnormal changes found in 279 cancers of the head and neck, identifying several broken molecular pathways that might be targeted by existing and future cancer drugs.
Many women lack basic understanding of their breast cancer, new study finds (January 26, 2015)A new study finds many breast cancer patients don't know the characteristics of their own disease, such as cancer stage and tumor grade.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute substantially expands research space (January 22, 2015)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is expanding its research footprint by moving into five floors at Longwood Center (360 Longwood Avenue), beginning later this month.
Vitamin D protects against colorectal cancer by boosting the immune system (January 15, 2015)A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators demonstrates that vitamin D can protect some people with colorectal cancer by perking up the immune system's vigilance against tumor cells.
New study shows high vitamin D levels increase survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (January 12, 2015)According to a new study led by Dana-Farber researchers, patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream prior to treatment with chemotherapy and targeted drugs, survived longer, on average, than patients with lower levels of the vitamin.
Combined therapy can reduce chance of recurrence in women with small, HER2+ breast tumors, study shows (January 7, 2015)Dana-Farber researchers report women with small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted drug following surgery were highly unlikely to have the cancer recur within three years.
Immunotherapy, genomic profiling and potential game changing drugs lead list of 2014 Dana-Farber research highlights (December 30, 2014)Immunotherapy, genomic profiling, and investigating game-changing drug therapies topped the list of most important cancer research and clinical developments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2014.
Combination of carboplatin and chemotherapy improves outcomes for triple-negative breast cancer patients (December 11, 2014)In a clinical trial involving women with triple-negative breast cancer, patients who received the drugs carboplatin and/or bevacizumab in combination with standard chemotherapy prior to surgery were more likely to have their tumors disappear entirely from the breast, according to data presented by investigators during the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Blocking a pathway causing hormonal therapy resistance may benefit women with advanced ER/PR-positive breast cancer (December 10, 2014)Adding a PI3K inhibitor to hormonal therapy for metastatic breast cancer may help overcome resistance to the hormonal therapy and delay disease progression, according to investigators from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Common genetic variations may contribute to treatment-related cognitive problems in children with leukemia (December 9, 2014)Common variations in four genes related to brain inflammation or cells' response to damage from oxidation may contribute to the problems with memory, learning and other cognitive functions seen in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to research presented at the annual American Society of Hematology annual meeting in San Francisco.
Disorder in gene-control system is a defining characteristic of cancer, study finds (December 8, 2014)Findings by Dana-Farber scientists and others show the disarray in the on-off mechanism – known as methylation – is one of the defining characteristics of cancer and helps tumors adapt to changing circumstances.
Immunotherapy shows clinical benefit in relapsed transplant recipients (December 8, 2014)A study led by Dana-Farber investigators found that a phase 1 trial of an immune checkpoint blocker found clinical benefit in nearly half of blood cancer patients who had relapsed following allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
New agent causes small cell lung tumors to shrink in pre-clinical testing (December 8, 2014)Small cell lung cancer – a disease for which no new drugs have been approved for many years – has shown itself vulnerable to an agent that disables part of tumor cells’ basic survival machinery, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported.
Oral inhibitor shows clinical activity in poor-prognosis AML (December 7, 2014)Dana-Farber and colleagues report that an oral targeted drug has shown encouraging activity and tolerable side effects in patients with treatment-resistant or relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in a phase 2 clinical trial.
Narrow subset of cells is responsible for metastasis in multiple myeloma, study finds (December 7, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers report that multiple myeloma is driven to spread by a subset of the myeloma cells within a patient’s body, and that attacking those specific subsets with targeted drugs may be better targets for therapy.
Stem cell transplant without radiation or chemotherapy pre-treatment shows promise (December 7, 2014)Researchers report promising outcomes from a clinical trial with patients with a rare form of bone marrow failure who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant after pre-treatment with immunosuppressive drugs only. This is the first trial reporting successful transplant in dyskeratosis congenita (DC) patients without the use of any radiation or conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy beforehand.
Immunotherapy achieves breakthrough result in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (December 6, 2014)Eighty-seven percent of Hodgkin lymphoma patients who participated in an early-phase immunotherapy clinical trial experienced cancer remission.
Circulating RNA may provide prognostic tool for multiple myeloma (December 6, 2014)The "molecular mail" sent by multiple myeloma cells provides clues to how well patients with the disease are likely to respond to treatment, according to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer.
Dana-Farber physicians recognized in Boston magazine's 'Top Doctors' issue (December 1, 2014)Fifty-seven physicians and surgeons affiliated with Dana-Farber have been named to Boston magazine's annual "Top Doctors" guide.
Study finds potential predictive biomarker for response to PD-L1 checkpoint blocker (November 26, 2014)Scientists analyzed tissue samples from patients who had — and had not — responded to a promising new immunotherapy drug. The study could help identify patients most likely to respond to the new drug, which blocks PD-L1.
AAAS announces three 2014 Fellows from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (November 24, 2014)Three Dana-Farber Cancer Institute faculty are named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Researchers produce largest scale map of human protein interactions (November 20, 2014)Scientists will be better able to trace how genetic changes give rise to diseases ranging from cancer to Huntington’s disease with a new map of protein-protein interactions within human cells produced by researchers at the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at Dana-Farber and associates around the world.
Unveiling the effects of an important class of diabetes drugs (November 17, 2014)A research team led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has uncovered surprising new findings that underscore the role of an important signaling pathway, already known to be critical in cancer, in the development of type 2 diabetes.
New test developed at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center speeds treatment decisions for blood cancer patients (November 11, 2014)In a major advance in the care of patients with leukemia and other blood disorders, physicians at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center have begun using Rapid Heme Panel, a high-tech genetic test that provides, within a matter of days, an unprecedented amount of critical information to aid the choice of treatment.
Researchers take new approach to stop 'most wanted' cancer protein (November 7, 2014)Researchers have found a way to defeat one of the most tantalizing yet elusive target proteins in cancer cells by turning the protein's own molecular machinations against it. In a study published online by the journal Cell, the scientists used a specially crafted compound to disrupt the protein's ability to rev up its own production and that of other proteins involved in tumor cell growth.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Astellas announce research collaboration (November 4, 2014)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Astellas Pharma Inc. today announced a three-year collaboration to research and develop small molecule inhibitors of oncogenic K-Ras for the treatment of cancer, including lung cancer.
Immune booster combined with checkpoint blocker improves survival in metastatic melanoma (November 4, 2014)Researchers reported survival of patients with advanced melanoma was improved when they received an immune stimulant along with a checkpoint blocker immunotherapy drug. The combination also resulted in fewer serious side effects compared with patients who got only the immunotherapy drug, ipilimumab.
Unsuspected gene found frequently mutated in colorectal, endometrial cancers (October 26, 2014)Scientists have identified a genetic mutation in about 20 percent of colorectal and endometrial cancers that had been overlooked in recent large, comprehensive gene searches. With this discovery, the altered gene, called RNF43, now ranks as one of the most common mutations in the two cancer types.
Three Dana-Farber faculty elected to Institute of Medicine (October 22, 2014)Todd R. Golub, MD, Margaret A. Shipp, MD, and Bruce M. Spiegelman, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a nongovernmental organization that advises the nation on issues related to biomedical science, medicine, and health.
CDC awards grant to program for young women with breast cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (October 16, 2014)The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) has awarded a $1.75 million 5 year grant to the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to increase the awareness of breast cancer among women and enhance the support services for those diagnosed and treated. The Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana-Farber was one of only seven organizations to be awarded this competitive grant.
Use of intensive medical services for ovarian cancer patients at end of life increases despite rise in use of hospice (October 15, 2014)As more terminally ill patients choose to spend their final days and weeks in hospice care rather than a hospital, the hope is the use of intensive and costly hospital services would decline. A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers shows for one group of terminally ill cancer patients, that is not what is happening.
Side effects of cancer prevention surgery can be helped with a single-day education program, study finds (October 14, 2014)A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows a half-day educational program can help women successfully deal with side effects of ovary removing surgery as a cancer prevention measure.
Promising early success and safety results from international gene therapy trial for 'bubble boy' disease reported in New England Journal of Medicine (October 9, 2014)A new form of gene therapy for boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID-X1) — "bubble boy" disease — appears to be both effective and safe, researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and collaborating institutions report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Patient's dramatic response and resistance to cancer drug traced to unsuspected mutations (October 8, 2014)Sequencing a patient's tumor before and after a clinical trial yielded information on why the tumor responded to and eventually resisted treatment, identifying mutations that may help guide the treatment of patients with cancers with similar mutations.
Dana-Farber researcher wins coveted NIH Pioneer award for 'bold and innovative' research project (October 6, 2014)Carl Novina, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is one of 10 scientists chosen to receive a 2014 National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award, which funds bold and innovative research proposals to attack challenging biomedical problems.
Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge raises record $8.2 million for cancer research through 2014 Boston Marathon® (October 1, 2014)The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) announced the team raised more than $8.2 million in its 25th running of the Boston Marathon® this year, the highest single-season fundraising total since the team's inception.
Researchers identify early sign of pancreatic cancer (September 28, 2014)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other institutions have discovered a sign of the early development of pancreatic cancer – an upsurge in certain amino acids that occurs before the disease is diagnosed and symptoms appear. The research is being published online today by the journal Nature Medicine.
Novel compound prevents metastasis of multiple myeloma in mouse studies (September 25, 2014)Dana-Farber scientists and colleagues report on a compound that can stop the blood cancer multiple myeloma from spreading, leading to a new approach in addressing metastasis, one of the deadliest aspects of cancer.
Drug combination delays worsening of disease in women with recurrent ovarian cancer (September 10, 2014)Researchers from the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber report that for some women with recurrent ovarian cancer, a new drug combination has been found to stall the progression of the disease.
ASCO issues new guideline on treating patients with advanced, HER2-negative breast cancer (September 3, 2014)The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a new clinical practice guideline on chemotherapy and targeted therapy for women with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. The guideline provides detailed, evidenced-based information on the efficacy and side effects of various therapies.
Targeted drugs get first test in early stage lung cancer (August 19, 2014)The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched a new nationwide clinical trial to find out if two molecularly targeted drugs that have improved outcomes in advanced lung cancer can increase survival of patients with early-stage lung cancer that has been surgically removed.
Scientists unravel mystery of brain cell growth (August 7, 2014)Dana-Farber scientists and international colleagues have discovered how a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction, helping neurons navigate to their assigned places in the developing brain.
Study finds new genetic risk markers in pancreatic cancer (August 3, 2014)A large DNA analysis of people with and without pancreatic cancer has identified several new genetic markers that signal increased risk of developing the highly lethal disease, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Early detection and transplantation provide best outcomes for bubble boy disease (July 31, 2014)Children born with so-called “bubble boy” disease have the best chance of survival if they undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplant as soon after birth as possible, according to a detailed analysis of 10 years published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers say the findings argue for expanding newborn screening for the life-threatening immune disorder.
Target growth-driving cells within tumors, not fastest-proliferating cells, new study suggests (July 30, 2014)Researchers find that targeting growth-driving cells within tumors, not the fastest-proliferating cells within tumors, may lead to more effective treatments.
New view of stomach cancer could hasten better therapies (July 23, 2014)In a massive effort to catalog the molecular causes of stomach cancer, scientists, including researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have identified four subtypes of tumors based on shared mutations and other molecular abnormalities.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recognized as a Magnet® organization for excellence in nursing and patient care (July 16, 2014)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is recognized as a Magnet organization for excellence in nursing and patient care for the third time.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center the top cancer hospital in New England; fourth in U.S. (July 15, 2014)U.S. News and World Report ranks Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center the top hospital in New England for the 14th straight year.
Antibody halts cancer-related wasting condition (July 13, 2014)Dana-Farber scientists identify a protein that is a cause of cachexia, a severe wasting of fat and muscle in half of all cancer patients, and show that blocking the protein in mice can prevent or halt the debilitating condition.
Study identifies novel genomic changes in the most common type of lung cancer (July 9, 2014)Dana-Farber and colleagues from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network identified novel mutations in a well-known cancer-causing pathway in lung adenocarcinoma, potentially identifying a greater number of patients with treatable mutations because many potent cancer drugs that target these mutations already exist. Additionally, these findings may expand the number of possible new therapeutic targets for this disease.
Signal from fat tissues improves insulin secretion in diabetic mice, suggests potential therapy (July 3, 2014)Research led by Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, and colleagues shows that adipsin, a cell signaling protein made by fat cells, plays a critical, previously unsuspected role in stimulating insulin secretion to control blood sugar, and the discovery could have implications for treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists Engineer Nanoparticles to Prevent Bone Cancer, Strengthen Bones (June 30, 2014)Researchers at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have utilized nanomedicine technologies to develop a drug-delivery system that can precisely target and attack cancer cells in the bone, as well as increase bone strength and volume to prevent bone cancer progression.
Dana-Farber's Belfer Institute announces collaboration with Johnson & Johnson innovation to research immunotherapies for lung cancer patients (June 24, 2014)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and its Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science are collaborating with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston and Janssen Biotech, Inc., to identify which lung cancer patients would benefit from a new generation of immunotherapies and which combination of such therapies will be the most effective.
Scientists identify additional challenges in KRAS-driven cancers (June 19, 2014)Scientists have redoubled efforts to disable the mutated cancer gene KRAS, which confers an especially poor prognosis and has proved extraordinarily difficult to target. New research has identified an additional hurdle: inhibiting KRAS can activate a backup pathway in cancer cells that enables them to survive and thrive in the oncogene's absence.
Scientists find new molecular link between exercise and health benefits (June 5, 2014)Dana-Farber scientists report on a natural hormone that is increased by physical exercise and by exposure to cold improves blood sugar control, suppresses inflammation, and burns fat to mold leaner bodies in mice can be made in the laboratory and could have therapeutic potential for several diseases.
Dana-Farber research highlighted in ASCO 2014 Annual Meeting Plenary Session (June 2, 2014)Practice-changing clinical research conducted at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology was featured at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting Plenary Session.
Expanded health coverage may improve cancer outcomes in young adults, study suggests (June 2, 2014)Researchers find young adults who lack health care insurance are more likely to be diagnosed in advanced stages of cancer and have a higher risk of death.
Drug combination extends survival by more than a year in metastatic prostate cancer (June 1, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers and colleagues report that men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer lived more than a year longer when they received a chemotherapy drug as initial treatment instead of waiting for the disease to become resistant to hormone-blockers.
Clinical trial analysis suggests drug combination may be highly effective in recurrent ovarian cancer (May 31, 2014)Significant improvement with the use of a combination drug therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer was reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago today. This is the first ovarian cancer study to use a combination of drugs that could be taken orally.
Many patients with rare gastrointestinal tumor receive long-term benefit from targeted therapy, researchers report (May 29, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers report new data point to the lasting benefit, for many patients, of the targeted drug imatinib which has revolutionized the treatment of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Life-extending ovarian cancer chemotherapy underused, study finds (May 29, 2014)New research shows patients with non-metastatic ovarian cancer live longer when chemotherapy is delivered into the abdomen instead of by standard intravenous infusion, yet only a minority of eligible patients are receiving it.
Combination therapy shows promise against forms of breast and ovarian cancer in early clinical trial (May 29, 2014)Ursula Matulonis, MD, and colleagues report a two-drug combination that disrupts critical signaling circuits in cancer cells has produced an observable benefit in patients with recurrent high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) or triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
New data shows continued long-term effectiveness of immunotherapy in advanced melanoma (May 29, 2014)F. Stephen Hodi, MD, and colleagues report the immunotherapy drug nivolumab continues to show long-term effectiveness in treating metastatic melanoma, achieving a three-year survival rate of 41 percent against the deadly skin cancer.
Palbociclib enters adjuvant testing for stage II-III breast cancer (May 29, 2014)Erica Mayer, MD, MPH, and colleagues are leading a pilot phase 2 clinical trial to test the feasibility of the targeted drug palbociclib combined with endocrine therapy as adjuvant therapy for stage II and III breast cancer.
Blood test shows promise for identifying genetic abnormalities in tumors (May 29, 2014)According to new research, a technique for reading the genetic abnormalities in patient tumors with a simple blood test has passed a critical test of accuracy and reliability.
New research shows potential targeted therapy for metastatic, androgen receptor positive, breast cancer (May 29, 2014)Results from a study evaluating an oral daily dose of the drug enobosarm, shows promise for women with metastatic, androgen receptor positive, estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.
Drug-resistant lung tumors respond to new precision therapy in early-stage trial (May 29, 2014)A new study shows about half of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumors no longer responded to conventional targeted drugs had their tumors shrink after receiving a new, more precisely targeted agent.
Study calls for revisiting guidelines for screening childhood cancer survivors at risk of congestive heart failure (May 20, 2014)One of the first studies to analyze the effectiveness of screening survivors of childhood cancer for early signs of impending congestive heart failure (CHF) finds improved health outcomes but suggests that less frequent screening than currently recommended may yield similar clinical benefit.
Scientists identify antibodies against deadly emerging respiratory disease (April 28, 2014)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified natural human antibodies against the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a step toward developing treatments for the newly emerging and often-fatal disease.
FDA approves first targeted drug for advanced stomach cancer (April 21, 2014)Based on results of a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a targeted drug for advanced stomach cancer.
Dana-Farber researchers uncover link between Down syndrome and leukemia (April 20, 2014)A team of researchers led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators has uncovered a connection between people with Down syndrome and having a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during childhood.
Dana-Farber scientists receive Stand Up To Cancer-Farrah Fawcett Foundation Grant for research in novel vaccine for HPV-associated cancers (April 7, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers have received a three-year, $1.2 million research grant from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation to lead a team in developing and testing new vaccines for patients with cancers linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Study identifies lung cancer patients likely to benefit from potential immune system-based therapy (April 6, 2014)Investigators at Dana-Farber led by Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD, report a promising way of predicting which patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are most likely to benefit from a drug that frees up an immune system attack on tumor cells.
Scientists find potential drug targets in deadly pediatric brain tumors (April 6, 2014)Researchers studying a rare, always fatal brain tumor in children have found several molecular alterations that drive the cancer, according to a new study from scientists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and McGill University. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, identify potential new targets for drug treatments.
Oncologists differ widely on offering cancer gene testing, study finds (March 24, 2014)A study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows that not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients' tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients.
Genomic testing links 'exceptional' drug response to rare mutations in bladder cancer (March 13, 2014)Genomic profiling of a patient's advanced bladder cancer explained his "exceptional response" to the drug everolimus. The scientists say this technique can help identify other patients who may respond to the drug.
Immune system-based therapy produces lasting remissions in melanoma patients, study reports (March 3, 2014)Nivolumab, a drug that unleashes the immune system to attack cancer, now shown to produce lasting remissions and hold the disease in check — for more than two years, in some cases — in many patients with advanced melanoma, according to a new study by Dana-Farber researchers and colleagues.
Normal enzyme aids a mutant one to fuel blood cancer’s growth (February 10, 2014)A normal enzyme called SYK pairs with FLT3, the most commonly mutated enzyme found in acute myelogenous leukemia, to promote progression of the cancer and its resistance to treatment with FLT3-blocking drugs, which may explain relatively poor results in clinical studies. In a mouse model, treatment with a combination of drugs to inhibit the two enzymes was more effective than treatment with either drug alone.
Marker may predict response to ipilimumab in advanced melanoma (February 4, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers found that in patients with advanced melanoma using the immunotherapy ipilimumab, presence of higher levels of the protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the blood was associated with a poorer response, suggesting that combining immunotherapy with VEGF inhibitors may be a potential option for these patients.
Dana-Farber receives $900 thousand grant to research ovarian cancer (Februyary 3, 2014)Ursula Matulonis, MD, the director of the Gynecological Cancer Treatment Center in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber receives a $900,000 grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) to test new combinations of targeted drugs against the disease.
Long-term survival among patients with most common childhood brain tumor is high; radiation treatment linked with lower long-term survival rate (February 3, 2014)Almost 90 percent of children treated for low-grade gliomas are alive 20 years later and few die from the tumor as adults. However, children whose treatment included radiation had significantly lower long-term survival rates.
Revamped radiation treatment schedule for common form of brain cancer can extend survival (January 31, 2014)An altered radiation treatment schedule for the most common and lethal form of brain cancer extended survival times a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations has shown.
Blood pressure drugs lengthen survival in advanced kidney cancer (January 29, 2014)An analysis of clinical trial data led by Dana-Farber researches showed that patients with advanced kidney cancer lived an average of seven months longer if they were taking a common type of high blood pressure medication during treatment.
Study reports success in targeted therapy for common form of lung cancer (January 28, 2014)Dana-Farber researchers have found that a combination of two already-in-use drugs may have an effect on stopping the growth of the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer setting the stage for clinical trials.
New computer model may aid personalized cancer care (January 23, 2014)Researchers at Dana-Farber have developed a tool to help predict how a patient’s tumor is likely to behave and which of several possible treatments is most likely to be effective.
Dana-Farber study shows 'beige' cells key to healthy fat (January 16, 2014)"Beige" fat cells found in healthy subcutaneous fat play a critical role in protecting the body against the disease risks of obesity in mice, report researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who say their study findings may have implications for therapy of obesity-related illness in humans.
Multiple myeloma study uncovers genetic diversity within tumors (January 13, 2014)The most comprehensive genetic study to date of the blood cancer multiple myeloma has revealed that the genetic landscape of the disease may be more complicated than previously thought.
Dana-Farber announces $30 million gift from Albert A. Marcotte, PhD (January 13, 2014)A $30 million gift from Albert A. Marcotte, PhD, will support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Capital Projects Campaign to expand research and clinical space. This transformational gift will also create the Marcotte Center for Cancer Research at Dana-Farber and advance strategic cancer research initiatives underway at the Institute.
Mutation discovery may improve treatment for rare brain tumor type (January 12, 2014)Scientists have identified a mutated gene that causes a type of benign brain tumor that can have devastating lifelong effects. It may be possible to attack the tumors with targeted drugs already in use for other tumors.
Antipsychotic drug exhibits cancer-fighting properties (January 9, 2014)Studies in zebrafish show that a 50-year-old antipsychotic medication can actively combat the cells of a difficult-to-treat form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
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