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Poet Richard Fox gains insight – and material – through cancer treatment
A family faces cancer in an unfamiliar city – with help
Choosing mastectomy or not: Studying young women's surgical choices
Jeff's targeted therapy has kept his advanced lung cancer at bay.
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 potentially explains vulnerability of young cancer patients to treatment toxicities (December 22, 2016)
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have discovered a potential explanation for why brain and heart tissues in very young children are more sensitive to collateral damage from cancer treatment than older individuals.
Blood protein may help doctors determine which patients are likely to benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors (December 21, 2016)
A new Dana-Farber study suggests that ANGPT2 protein may serve a prognostic biomarker for response to checkpoint inhibitors. Patients with metastatic melanoma involved in the study with lower ANGPT2 protein levels saw far greater benefit from these immunotherapy agents.
Personalized cancer vaccine is associated with promising outcomes for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (December 7, 2016)
A personalized cancer vaccine markedly improved outcomes for patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a potentially lethal blood cancer, in a clinical trial including investigators at Dana-Farber.
Genetic alterations in treatment-resistant metastatic breast cancer found to be distinct from those in primary tumors (December 7, 2016)
Genomic sequencing of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive metastatic breast cancer that had become resistant to therapies revealed multiple genomic and molecular alterations that were not present in the primary tumor samples, with implications for choice of next therapy, clinical trial eligibility, and novel drug targets.
Drug combination yields encouraging results in patients with relapsed forms of leukemia or lymphoma in early stage study (December 5, 2016)
A study led by Dana-Farber researchers shows a combination of two targeted agents has demonstrated safety as well as encouraging signs of effectiveness in a clinical trial in patients with relapsed or hard-to-treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia or mantle cell lymphoma.
Mutations in lymphoma patients undergoing transplants raise risk of second cancers (December 5, 2016)
A significant percentage of lymphoma patients undergoing transplants with their own blood stem cells carry acquired genetic mutations that increase their risks of developing second hematologic cancers and dying from other causes, according to a study from Dana-Farber researchers.
Children with Down syndrome and acute lymphoblastic leukemia fare as well as other children treated on Dana-Farber ALL Consortium protocols (December 5, 2016)
Despite an elevated risk of toxicity from chemotherapy, children with Down syndrome and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) did not experience higher rates of relapse or treatment-related mortality compared with other children treated on Dana-Farber ALL Consortium Protocols.
Early treatment may prevent progression to multiple myeloma (December 5, 2016)
Early intervention with an immunotherapy-based drug combination may prevent progression of high-risk “smoldering” multiple myeloma to the full-blown disease, according to researchers from Dana-Farber.
Immunotherapy agent yields full and partial remissions in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas, study finds (December 5, 2016)
An immunotherapy drug able to induce lasting remissions in classical Hodgkin lymphoma may be equally effective in patients with two rare, aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, results from Dana-Farber researchers shows.
Genetic classification offers guide to stem cell transplantation for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (December 3, 2016)
A blood test can indicate whether some patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are likely to benefit from a stem cell transplant and, if so, whether the transplant should involve high or moderate doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, according to a study by scientists at Dana-Farber.
Scientists identify unique genomic features in testicular cancer (November 30, 2016)
Researchers led by scientists at Dana-Farber say they have identified unique genomic changes that may be integral to testicular cancer development and explain why the great majority are highly curable with chemotherapy – unlike most solid tumors.
William Sellers appointed to faculty at Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School (November 23, 2016)
William Sellers, MD, a widely-respected cancer researcher with deep experience in cancer genomics and therapeutic discovery, is returning to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School as a faculty member.
Novel agent restores breast tumors' vulnerability to promising class of drugs, study finds (November 22, 2016)
New study led by Dana-Farber finds dinaciclib resensitizes triple-negative breast tumors to PARP inhibitor by impeding DNA repair in tumor cells. The Dinaciclib/PARP inhibitor combination will be tested in breast and ovarian cancer patients.
Study reveals genetic explanation for cancer's higher incidence in males than females (November 21, 2016)
In a new study, a group of Boston scientists, including researchers at Dana-Farber, offer a genetic explanation for the age-old conundrum of why cancer is more common in males than females.
Large-scale cancer gene profiling is feasible but faces barriers (November 17, 2016)
Researchers from Dana-Farber and other institutions leading the largest genomic tumor profiling effort of its kind say such studies are technically feasible in a broad population of adult and pediatric patients with many different types of cancer.
New drug beats standard therapy in advanced kidney cancer (November 14, 2016)
An experimental kidney cancer drug outperformed the standard first-line therapy for patients with metastatic disease who are considered at risk for poorer than average outcomes, according to results of a randomized phase II clinical trial by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Research into basic workings of immune system points to way of improving therapies for cancer and chronic infection (October 27, 2016)
In a paper posted by the journal Science, researchers report that, in mice with chronic viral infection, exhausted T cells are controlled by a fundamentally different set of molecular circuits than T cells effectively battling infections or cancer – a finding that suggests a way to increase the staying power of CAR T cells, a promising form of immunotherapy for cancer.
Two top research organizations join to speed cancer research with molecular probes (October 13, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, will work together to create novel molecular probes for non-invasive imaging in cancer research, drug development and patient care.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announces lung cancer research collaboration (October 12, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Diichi Sankyo Company, Limited announced a preclinical research collaboration focused on lung cancer.
Dana-Farber study testing the impact of weight loss on breast cancer recurrence (October 11, 2016)
Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and partnering oncology practices across the United States and Canada are testing whether weight loss prevents women with breast cancer from a recurrence. Nestlé Health Science is donating OPTIFAST® nutritionally complete, low calorie meal replacements to help women in the newly launched Breast Cancer Weight Loss (BWEL) study realize their weight loss goals.
DNA repair-blocking drug substantially improves progression free survival for common form of recurrent ovarian cancer, international trial finds (October 8, 2016)
The PARP inhibitor niraprib as maintenance therapy for women with recurrent platinum-sensitive high grade ovarian cancer has shown delay of cancer progression. Progression free survival benefit applies regardless of whether or not tumors have BRCA mutations or other DNA-repair deficiencies.
Discovery offers prospect of shorter treatment and cure for chronic myelogenous leukemia (September 14, 2016)
Although targeted drugs like Gleevec have revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), patients generally must take them for the rest of their lives and may cease benefiting from them over time. In new research that could suggest a road to cure, scientists have found that CML stem cells die in response to inhibition of a protein called Ezh2. Drugs that target the protein are currently being tested in clinical trials for other cancers.
William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, Dana-Farber researcher, awarded 2016 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (September 13, 2016)
William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, professor in the Department of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, has been named a winner of the 2016 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.
Antibody discovery could help create improved flu vaccines (September 13, 2016)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators report they have discovered a type of immune antibody that can rapidly evolve to neutralize a wide array of influenza virus strains – including those the body hasn’t yet encountered.
Two-drug immunotherapy combination may offer better survival in advanced melanoma (September 8, 2016)
Combining two immunotherapy drugs, nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy), for advanced melanoma appears to increase survival rate over that achieved with a single agent, according to a new study.
Use of presurgical chemotherapy on the rise for advanced ovarian cancer, but may not be beneficial for some patients (September 6, 2016)
New research from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows that, despite increased use, presurgical chemotherapy generally resulted in shorter survival times than the traditional surgery-first method for patients with stage IIIC ovarian cancer. However, for patients with stage IV disease, the study found that neoadjuvant chemotherapy is at least as effective as initial surgery.
BCL11A-based gene therapy for sickle cell disease passes key preclinical test (September 6, 2016)
A precision-engineered gene therapy virus, inserted into blood stem cells that are then transplanted, markedly reduced sickle-induced red-cell damage in mice with sickle cell disease, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The work sets the stage for bringing a decades-old discovery about sickle cell disease to the bedside, with a clinical gene therapy trial is in 2017.
Public poorly informed about potentially harmful substances in e-cigarette secondhand vapor (September 6, 2016)
The plumes of vapor exhaled by e-cigarette users may look like pure mist and exude a fruity aroma, but a new study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers suggests that most people are unaware that the vapor contains more than water and may include potentially harmful substances such as formaldehyde.
Obesity linked to improved survival in kidney cancer (September 5, 2016)
Obesity almost always increases cancer risk and worsens outcomes, but researchers led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that overweight patients with advanced kidney cancer had significantly longer survival than those who were normal or underweight.
Outpatient bloodstream infections costly for pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients, study finds (August 29, 2016)
Pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients often are discharged from the hospital with an external central venous line for medications that parents or other caregivers must clean and flush daily to avoid potentially life-threatening infections. If an outpatient develops a bloodstream infection associated with the central line, the median charges to treat it total $37,000 for a hospital stay of six days.
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.
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