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:
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).
Harvard Medical School receives $90 million, sharing $540 million gift from Ludwig Cancer Research (January 6, 2013)Ludwig Cancer Research, on behalf of its founder, Daniel K. Ludwig, has given Harvard Medical School $90 million to spur innovative scientific inquiry and discovery in a newly expanded center. The Ludwig Center at Harvard will be co-directed by Joan Brugge, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and George Demetri, MD, of Dana-Farber.
Scientists identify genetic flaw that drives some ovarian cancers (December 30, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists identify a genetic flaw that drives some ovarian cancers, which could assist in identifying treatments for ovarian cancer patients.
International team completes systematic, genomic study of cervical cancer (December 25, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers and colleagues completed a comprehensive genomic analysis of cervical cancer, identifying recurrent genetic mutations not previously found and shedding light on the role human papillomavirus (HPV) plays in the development of the disease.
Additional drug shows promise for women with triple-negative breast cancer (December 13, 2013)In a nationwide study of women with triple-negative breast cancer, adding the chemotherapy drug carboplatin or the angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin to standard chemotherapy drugs brought a sharp increase in the number of patients whose tumors shrank away completely.
Exercise can reduce drug-related joint pain in breast cancer patients, study shows (December 12, 2013)Women being treated with breast cancer drugs known as aromatase inhibitors can markedly ease the joint pain associated with the drugs by engaging in moderate daily exercise, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Yale University investigators report in a study to be presented during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Combined therapy linked to lower chance of recurrence in women with small, HER2-positive breast cancers (December 11, 2013)In a new study, women with relatively small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted therapy following surgery or radiation therapy were very unlikely to have the cancer recur within a few years of treatment.
Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective, research suggests (December 10, 2013)Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research suggests.
Experimental treatment for graft-vs.-host disease may reduce steroid need (December 10, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers found that adding bortezomib to initial treatment for chronic graft-versus-host disease allowed significant reduction of steroid medication in some patients.
Drug-antibody pair has promising activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (December 10, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers and their colleagues report a toxin linked to a targeted monoclonal antibody has shown antitumor activity in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas who were no longer responding to treatment.
Scientists identify a roadmap to 'cancer dependencies' in lymph node cancer (December 9, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers found an experimental drug blocked vulnerable cell growth pathways in a diverse group of aggressive B cell lymphomas, suggesting a potential new avenue for treating the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Gene 'driver' of Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia in up to one-third of patients identified (December 9, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers identify a specific mutation that switches on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia in one-third of patients, and a drug that targets the mutation — which could lead to better treatments for those patients.
Novel drug regimen can improve stem cell transplantation outcomes (December 8, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find adding bortezomib to standard preventive therapy for graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) results in improved outcomes for some patients.
Age shouldn't limit access to transplants for MDS, study suggests (December 7, 2013)Dana-Farber study shows patients with MDS in the 66-to-74 age range fared as well with stem cell transplantation as did patients in the 60-to-65 age range.
Rare cause of anemia in newborns often overlooked, research suggests (December 7, 2013)Some babies diagnosed with and treated for a bone marrow failure disorder, called Diamond Blackfan Anemia, may actually be affected by a very rare anemia syndrome that has a different disease course and treatment, say scientists from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
International gene therapy trial for 'bubble boy' disease shows promising early results (December 7, 2013)Dana-Farber/Boston Children's researchers reported promising outcomes data for the first group of boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID-X1), a fatal genetic immunodeficiency also known as "bubble boy" disease, who were treated in an international clinical study of a new form of gene therapy.
Scientists discover how thalidomide-like drugs fight cancer (November 28, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists have discovered the mechanism behind thalidomide's cancer-killing properties, which could aid development of safer versions and a new class of cancer drugs.
SPORES seed multiple fields of cancer research at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (November 22, 2013)Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center researchers receive six Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants, which support research that moves from the laboratory to the clinic.
Large study links nut consumption to reduced death rate (November 20, 2013)In the largest study of its kind, people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than were those who didn’t consume nuts, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Study finds new genetic error in some lung cancers (October 28, 2013)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Colorado Cancer Center report on a gene fusion that spurs the cells to divide rapidly. Treating the cells with a compound that blocks the protein caused the cells to die which may offer a targeted therapy in patients.
Scientists identify protein linking exercise to brain health (October 11, 2013)A protein that is increased by endurance exercise has been isolated and given to non-exercising mice, in which it turned on genes that promote brain health and encourage the growth of new nerves involved in learning and memory, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.
Discovery of new gene regulator could precisely target sickle cell disease (October 10, 2013)Research led by Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center reports the discovery of a new genetic target for potential therapy of sickle cell disease.
Two-drug combination slows malignant brain tumors in mice (October 8, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers have used a novel combination of two oral targeted drugs to dramatically slow the growth of glioblastoma brain tumors in mice, which significantly extended the animals’ survival.
New targeted drug prolongs survival in advanced stomach cancer (October 2, 2013)A targeted drug that reduces blood flow to tumors prolonged the survival of patients with advanced stomach cancer after standard treatments failed, according to results of large multicenter clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
New survey of DNA alterations could aid search for cancer genes (September 27, 2013)Scanning the DNA of nearly 5,000 tumor samples, a team led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute has identified 140 regions of scrambled genetic code believed to contain many undiscovered cancer genes.
Novel drug prevents common viral disease in stem-cell transplant patients, study finds (September 26, 2013)A common, sometimes severe viral disease in patients receiving a transplant of donated stem cells can be prevented by a new drug given shortly after transplant, according to a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers.
Study reinforces value of colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer prevention (September 18, 2013)A team of researchers, including those from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health, will be reporting study findings that lend powerful scientific backing to the recommendation that people receive a colonoscopy screening to prevent colorectal cancer.
Major cancer genotyping study logs 5,000th tumor profile (September 13, 2013)Scientists have catalogued more than 5,000 tumor DNA profiles in a database of genetic abnormalities in cancer, a resource aimed at tailoring highly specific drugs to the particular genetic mutations and other abnormalities that drive a patient's cancer.
Study finds genomic differences in types of cervical cancer (August 23, 2013)A first of its kind study has revealed marked differences in the genomic terrain of the two most common types of cervical cancer, suggesting that patients might benefit from targeted therapies for each type’s molecular idiosyncrasies.
Pazopanib shows better quality-of-life in advanced kidney cancer (August 21, 2013)An international study led by Dana-Farber that compared the efficacy, safety and tolerability of the oral targeted drugs pazopanib and sunitinib for the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer found the drugs were equally effective, but pazopanib was better tolerated.
Vaccine stirs immune activity against advanced, hard-to-treat leukemia (August 5, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation they have developed a tumor vaccine based on the patient’s tumor to create a strong and selective immune response in some chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
New designer compound treats heart failure by targeting cell nucleus (August 1, 2013)A multi-institutional team of researchers, including those at Dana-Farber, have identified a new molecular pathway responsible for causing heart failure and showed that a first-in-class prototype drug, JQ1, blocks this pathway to protect the heart from damage.
Profile: A personalized medicine cancer research study (Updated August 1, 2013)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital's Profile is one of the most comprehensive cancer research studies designed to help accelerate the development of personalized treatments for every person with cancer.
New study finds strong pregnancy outcomes for survivors of childhood cancer (July 15, 2013)New research shows that although women who survived childhood cancer face an increased risk of infertility, nearly two-thirds of those who tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for at least a year eventually conceived.
New two-drug combination shows activity in ovarian cancer (July 2, 2013)A novel pairing of two cancer drug types showed promising activity and had manageable toxicities, according to a first-of-its-kind clinical trial led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Study sets guidelines for stem cell transplants in older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (June 24, 2013)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists provide the first statistically-based guidelines for determining whether stem cell transplant is appropriate for patients older than 60 with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
Observation is safe, cost-saving in low-risk prostate cancer (June 17, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find many men with low-risk, localized prostate cancers can safely choose observation instead of undergoing immediate treatment and have a better quality of life while reducing health care costs.
Study paves way for rational drug targeting of B-cell lymphomas (June 10, 2013)A new Dana-Farber study shows a “big picture” view of an overactive B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway that drives about one-third of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphomas, which could lead to more promising genetic targets for drug development.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Dana-Farber to bring clinical trials to local communities (June 6, 2013)The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Dana-Farber joined together to establish the Blood Cancer Research Partnership, an innovative program bringing together a network of sites for clinical trial testing of blood cancer therapies in community oncology settings across the country.
Drug combination improves survival in metastatic melanoma (June 3, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers found that combining the immune stimulator GM-CSF with the antibody drug ipilimumab prolonged survival in patients with metastatic melanoma and reduced the incidence of the most serious side effects.
Targeted therapy boosts lung cancer outcomes (June 3, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers reported that patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumor cells harbored an abnormal ALK gene responded better to targeted therapy than traditional chemotherapy.
New protein-targeting drug shows promise in early trial for patients with high-risk CLL (May 15, 2013)Dana-Farber investigators led a phase 1 trial in which a new oral targeted drug, idelalisib, (GS-1101), showed the potential to stave off the need for additional treatments for relapsed or treatment-resistant CLL.
Scientists find mutation driving pediatric brain tumors (April 30, 2013)A type of low-grade but sometimes lethal brain tumor in children has been found to contain an unusual mutation that may help to classify, diagnose and guide the treatment of the tumors.
Study illuminates biology behind promising therapy for graft-versus-host disease (April 11, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers detail how low doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) can alleviate chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and possibly lead to better treatment for other immune disorders.
Genetic biomarker may help identify neuroblastomas vulnerable to novel class of drugs (April 9, 2013)An irregularity within many neuroblastoma cells may indicate whether the tumor is vulnerable to a new class of anti-cancer drugs known as BET bromodomain inhibitors.
Some patients with incurable tumors and BRCA mutations respond to new two-drug combination (April 7, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists find when given together, two orally available experimental drugs – sapacitabine and seliciclib – worked together to elicit antitumor effects in patients with incurable BRCA-deficient cancers.
Blood tests can provide fuller picture of mutations in cancer than traditional biopsies do, research finds (April 6, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find blood test can provide fuller picture of cancer mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors than biopsy.
Targeted toxin active in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers (April 6, 2013)Dana-Farber researchers find novel antibody-guided drug achieves responses in platinum drug-resistant ovarian cancer.
Scientists find potential loophole in pancreatic cancer defenses (March 27, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists found that pancreatic cancer cells' growth and spread are fueled by an unusual metabolic pathway that someday might be blocked with targeted drugs to control the deadly cancer.
Study finds molecular 'signature' for rapidly increasing form of esophageal cancer (March 24, 2013)A study by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute, and other research centers, may offer clues to why rates of esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs) have risen so sharply. The findings, in Nature Genetics, point to an array of abnormal genes and proteins that may be lynchpins of EAC cell growth and therefore serve as targets for new therapies.
Study reveals how inherited risk factors in 'junk DNA' affect breast cancer predisposition (February 26, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists have linked genetic variants to the regulation of genes involved in breast cancer, including four genes not previously implicated in breast cancer, shedding new insights into the biology of breast cancer.
Study tracks genetic evolution of form of leukemia, may help physicians predict course of disease, tailor therapies (February 14, 2013)Dana-Farber and Broad Institute researchers for the first time are able to show the past, present, and future of CLL tumors.
New strategy prevents rheumatoid arthritis in mice (February 8, 2013)Dana-Farber scientists have demonstrated a new strategy for treating autoimmune disease that successfully blocked the development of rheumatoid arthritis in a mouse model. They say it holds promise for improved treatment of arthritis and other autoimmune disorders in people.
Researchers discover new mutations driving malignant melanoma (January 24, 2013)Dana-Farber and Broad Institute researchers have identified two mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors. These highly "recurrent" mutations may be the most common mutations in melanoma cells found to date.
Genomic sequencing identifies mutant 'drivers' of common brain tumor (January 23, 2013)Scientists from Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute have identified two DNA mutations that appear to drive about 15 percent of meningiomas, a finding that could lead to the first effective drug treatments for the brain tumor.
Study shows promise of molecular screening for gynecologic cancers, commentary writers state (January 09, 2013)A new study that proposes a three-in-one test for gynecologic cancers underscores the promise of molecular screening for early detection of endometrial and ovarian cancers, but also suggests that such tests are not yet ready for clinical use. Andrea Myers, MD, PhD, a co-author of the commentary on the study, says the test is an important step in that direction.
Some men voice complaints of shortened penis following prostate cancer treatment (January 02, 2013)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center report a small percentage of men in a prostate cancer study complained that their penis seemed shorter following treatment, causing them to regret the type of treatment they chose.
Drug shortage linked to greater risk of relapse in young Hodgkin lymphoma patients (December 26, 2012)A national drug shortage has been linked to a higher rate of relapse among Hodgkin lymphoma patients enrolled in a national pediatric clinical trial, report researchers involved in the study.
Patients with family history of colorectal cancer may be at risk for aggressive form of the disease, study finds (December 14, 2012)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers report that when people with a family history of colorectal cancer develop the disease, their tumors often carry a molecular sign that the cancer could be life-threatening.
Researchers find new culprit in castration-resistant prostate cancer (December 14, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists have discovered a molecular switch that enables advanced prostate cancers to spread without stimulation by male hormones, a finding that could serve as a treatment target for castration-resistant prostate cancers.
Potential gene therapy approach to sickle cell disease highlighted at national hematology meeting (December 11, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have taken the first preliminary steps toward developing a form of gene therapy for sickle cell disease.
Blood levels of immune protein predict risk in Hodgkin disease (December 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers found levels of galectin-1, an immunity-related protein, could be the basis of a test, and potentially a targeted treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Experimental graft-versus-host disease treatment equivalent to standard care in phase 3 trial (December 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers found that an experimental drug combination for preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was not significantly better than the standard regimen of care, but that the new combination could provide an alternative that could be preferable in certain scenarios.
Intensified chemotherapy shows promise for children with very high-risk form of leukemia (December 10, 2012)Pediatric patients with B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia who are likely to relapse after chemotherapy treatment can reduce those odds by receiving additional courses of chemotherapy, according to research by Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center investigators.
Researchers discover regulator linking exercise to bigger, stronger muscles (December 06, 2012)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have isolated a previously unknown protein in muscles that spurs their growth and increased power following resistance exercise. They suggest that artificially raising the protein’s levels might someday help prevent muscle loss caused by cancer, prolonged inactivity in hospital patients, and aging.
Researchers report first success of targeted therapy in most common genetic subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (November 27, 2012)A new study by an international team of investigators led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists is the first to demonstrate that chemotherapy and a new, targeted therapy work better in combination than chemotherapy alone in treating patients with the most common genetic subtype of lung cancer.
New oral drug overcomes resistance in patients with rare sarcoma after failure of standard targeted therapies (November 21, 2012)A new targeted drug demonstrated its ability to control metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor, an uncommon and life-threatening form of sarcoma, after the disease had become resistant to all existing therapies, report investigators at Dana-Farber who led the worldwide clinical trial.
Gene mutation identifies colorectal cancer patients who live longer with aspirin therapy, study finds (October 24, 2012)A new study by Dana-Farber researchers shows aspirin therapy can extend the life of colorectal cancer patients whose tumors carry a mutation in a key gene, but has no effect on patients who lack the mutation.
Targeting cancers' 'addiction' to cell-cycle proteins shuts down tumors in mice (October 17, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists have safely shut down breast cancer and a form of leukemia in mice by targeting abnormal proteins to which the cancers are "addicted."
New tool determines leukemia cells' 'readiness to die,' may guide clinical care (October 11, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have developed a method for determining how ready acute myeloid leukemia cells are to die, a finding that may enable oncologists to choose more effective treatments for their patients.
Researchers identify three subtypes of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (September 19, 2012)Research led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists may soon enable doctors to determine which patients with the most common form of ovarian cancer – high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) – are most likely to benefit from a certain class of drugs.
Molecule shows effectiveness against drug-resistant myeloma (September 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report that the molecule P5091 triggers cell death in multiple myeloma cancer cells that have become resistant to Velcade.
Predictive molecular signature in lymphoma may direct targeted therapy (September 10, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have found a genetic signature in tumors to help them determine if diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients will benefit more from traditional therapies or targeted therapies.
New potential targets discovered for treating squamous cell lung cancers (September 09, 2012) The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has identified a large number and variety of DNA alterations in squamous cell lung cancer tumors, which could serve as potential therapeutic targets for treating the second most common type of lung cancer.
A male contraceptive pill in the making? (August 16, 2012)A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber shows a small molecule compound called JQ1 can generate reversible birth control in male mice.
Going viral: Proteins identify potential cancer-related genes (July 30, 2012)In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an international team of associates used a technique involving viral proteins to prioritize which of the many mutated genes in tumor cells are likely involved in cancer and which are mere bystanders.
Key mutations discovered for most common childhood brain cancer (July 23, 2012)Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center researchers have linked genetic mutations to each of the four recognized subtypes of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of children.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists target newly isolated 'beige fat' cells that could help fight obesity (July 12, 2012)Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have isolated a new type of energy-burning fat cell called "beige fat" in adult humans which they say may have therapeutic potential for treating obesity.
Tumor microenvironment helps skin cancer cells resist drug treatment (July 05, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers are studying melanoma tumors' microenvironments to better understand how some melanoma continue to grow and survive despite the presence of anti-cancer drugs.
Breast cancer's many drivers (June 20, 2012)In one of the largest breast cancer sequencing efforts to date, scientists from Dana-Farber and their colleagues have discovered surprising alterations in genes that were not previously associated with breast cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant the only 'definitive treatment' for myelodysplastic syndrome (June 13, 2012)The pre-cancerous blood disorder myelodsysplastic syndrome (MDS) affects between 35,000 and 55,000 people in the United States. Dana-Farber's David Steensma, MD, discusses MDS and its treatment.
New targeted therapy effective in patients with drug-resistant metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (June 04, 2012)Regorafenib was found to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by more than 70 percent in patients whose tumors had become resistant to Gleevec and Sutent.
Study reports first success of targeted therapy in most common genetic subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (May 31, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report a novel compound has become the first targeted therapy to benefit patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
New strategy directly activates cellular 'death protein' (May 31, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have devised a strategy to directly activate a natural "death" protein, triggering the self-destruction of cells — which could lead to new possibilities for designing cancer drugs.
New drug strategy attacks resistant leukemia and lymphoma (May 29, 2012)Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have created a peptide that overcomes drug resistance and reactivates programmed cell death in recurrent blood cancers.
Reverse engineering epilepsy's 'miracle' diet (May 24, 2012)The discovery of a connection between seizure resistance and a protein that modifies metabolism in the brain may result in a new treatment for epilepsy that parallels the results of the ketogenic diet, say researchers from Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School.
Novel treatment exposes melanoma to immune system attack (May 23, 2012)A clinical trial for advanced melanoma caused growths to recede or stabilize in half of the participants by blocking a protein interaction that prevents T cells from attacking cancerous cells, reports lead author Stephen Hodi, MD.
Hormone-depleting drug shows promise against localized high-risk prostate tumors (May 16, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers have demonstrated that a hormone-depleting drug can help eliminate or nearly eliminate aggressive prostate cancers that have yet to spread beyond the prostate.
New under the sun: recurrent genetic mutations in melanoma (May 09, 2012)Scientists from Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute have sequenced 25 melanoma tumors and confirmed the long-held suspicion that chronic sun exposure plays a role in skin cancer.
Advanced pancreatic tumors depend on continued oncogene activity (April 30, 2012)Dana-Farber researchers report that advanced pancreatic cancers are dependent on the continued expression of a mutant oncogene that "rewires" key metabolic pathways, which suggests that these altered pathways might be potential targets for future drugs.
Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients (April 17, 2012)Adding Avastin to standard chemotherapy treatment may not improve survival rates for people with non-small cell lung cancer aged 65 plus, according to Dana-Farber researchers, who further suggest that clinicians exercise caution in including the drug in treatment recommendations.
First targeted nanomedicine to enter cancer clinical studies (April 06, 2012)A multi-institutional team of researchers has published a study that demonstrates a novel therapy works against solid tumors. It is the first targeted and programmed nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies.
Writing the book of cancer knowledge (March 30, 2012)Dana-Farber scientists and colleagues have published results from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, a resource that marries cancer genome data with predictors of drug responses. This information could refine cancer clinical trials and future treatments.
'Co-clinical trials' help focus lung cancer research (March 28, 2012)By conducting simultaneous clinical trials in patients and labs, Dana-Farber researchers and colleagues have been able to predict how patients with non-small cell lung cancer respond to combination therapy.
DNA marker predicts platinum drug response in breast, ovarian cancer (March 23, 2012)Scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their colleagues have found a genetic marker that predicts which aggressive "triple negative" breast cancers and certain ovarian cancers will likely respond to platinum-based chemotherapies.
Researchers identify new subtype of ovarian cancer may be vulnerable to anti-angiogenic drugs (February 15, 2012)The discovery of a subtype of ovarian cancer that could account for up to one-third of all serous ovarian cancers may lead to clinical trials using anti-angiogenic drugs that are already being tested in other cancers.
Newly identified fusion genes in lung and colorectal cancer may guide treatment with 'targeted' drugs (February 13, 2012)Newly discovered gene mutations in certain non-small cell and colorectal cancers share similarities with other genetic abnormalities that are known to respond to targeted cancer treatments. This suggests that existing therapies, already approved, could be used to treat patients with these tumors.
Three 'targeted' cancer drugs raise risk of fatal side effects (February 6, 2012)Treatment with three "targeted" cancer drugs has been linked to a slightly elevated chance of fatal side effects, according to a new analysis led by scientists at Dana-Farber. These risks remain low, but they should be factored in when developing patients’ treatment plans.
'Pulverized' chromosomes linked to cancer? (January 19, 2012) In a paper published online yesterday by the journal Nature, Dana-Farber researchers map out a mechanism by which micronuclei could potentially disrupt the chromosomes within them and produce cancer-causing gene mutations. The findings may point to a vulnerability in cancer cells that could be attacked by new therapies.
Researchers isolate messenger protein linking exercise to health benefits (January 11, 2012)Researchers have isolated a natural hormone from muscle cells that triggers some of the key health benefits of exercise. Irisin, which switches on genes that convert white fat into "good" brown fat, may hold promise as a novel treatment for diabetes, obesity and perhaps other disorders, including cancer.
Targeting EETs to treat cardiovascular disease may prove a double-edged sword (December 19, 2011)A study documents the connection between increased levels of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET) lipids and cancer growth and metastasis opening the door to a new avenue for cancer treatment.
Experimental drug combination 'encouraging' in relapsed multiple myeloma (December 12, 2011)A phase 2 clinical trial has shown that pairing bortezomib with an experimental drug, panobinostat, may be a promising treatment for patients with advanced multiple myeloma when the targeted drug bortezomib stops working alone.
Researchers identify genetic mutation responsible for most cases of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (December 12, 2011)Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a gene mutation that underlies the vast majority of cases of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, a rare form of lymphoma that has eluded all previous efforts to find a genetic cause.
Massive DNA search uncovers new mutations driving blood cancer (December 12, 2011)Researchers have found several new altered genes that drive chronic lymphocitic leukemia through powerful DNA sequencing, a finding that could potentially help doctors predict whether a patient’s disease will progress rapidly or remain indolent for years.
Peptide 'cocktail' elicits immune response to multiple myeloma (December 12, 2011)Scientists have created a "cocktail" combination of four antigenic peptides derived from myeloma cells they believe could provoke the body's defenses to attack multiple myeloma in its early "smoldering" phase and slow or prevent the blood cancer.
Therapy improves stem cell engraftment in umbilical cord blood transplant recipients (December 12, 2011)A therapy involving a natural compound may improve the ability of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to engraft in patients receiving a stem cell transplant for cancer or other diseases.
Researchers identify a novel therapeutic approach for liver cancer (December 9, 2011)Researchers have identified a mechanism that triggers inflammation in the liver and transforms normal cells into cancerous ones, a finding that could lead to the treatment or prevention of liver cancer.
New study reassures on heart risks of prostate cancer treatment (December 6, 2011)Hormone-blocking therapy for prostate cancer doesn't raise the risk of fatal heart attacks - as some recent studies had suggested - according to a new report from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.
New approach to graft-versus-host disease treatment results in sustained improvement for some patients (November 30, 2011)In a study that seems to pivot on a paradox, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have used an immune system stimulant as an immune system suppressor to treat a common, often debilitating side effect of donor stem cell transplantation in cancer patients.
Study identifies possible therapy for radiation sickness (November 23, 2011)A combination of two drugs may alleviate radiation sickness in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation, even when the therapy is given a day after the exposure occurred, according to a study led by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston.
Combination antibody therapy shows promise (June 6, 2011)A duo of drugs can be safely administered and are potentially more effective than either drug alone for advanced, inoperable melanomas, according to a phase I clinical trial led by Dana-Farber investigators.
Scientists identify overactive genes in aggressive breast cancers (June 2, 2011)Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, and colleagues identified a network of growth-spurring genes that drive stem-like breast cancer cells enriched in triple-negative breast tumors.
Biomarker activation appears associated with improved survival (April 27, 2011)A protein biomarker may predict better chances of survival for obese patients with colorectal cancer, but it provided no prognostic value for non-obese patients, Dana-Farber researchers report.
Technique extends cancer-fighting cells’ potency in melanoma patients (April 27, 2011)Dana-Farber scientists have developed a technique that can cause white blood cells trained to attack tumors to survive in patients’ bloodstreams for well over a year, and, in some cases, without the need of other, highly toxic treatments.
Study identifies a promising target for AIDS vaccine (April 1, 2011)A section of the AIDS virus's protein envelope known as the V3 loop and once considered an improbable target for a vaccine now appears to be one of the most promising, according to research authored by Dana-Farber's Ruth Ruprecht, MD, PhD.
Scientists find 'core pathway' causing declining health in old age (February 9, 2011)Dana-Farber researchers have found that the basic cause of age-related health decline is malfunctioning telomeres — the end-caps on cells' chromosomes that protect them against DNA damage.
Researchers offer sweeping view of prostate cancer genome (February 9, 2011)Researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber and Weill Cornell Medical College have laid bare the full genetic blueprint of multiple prostate tumors, uncovering alterations that have never before been detected and offering a deep view of the genetic missteps that underlie the disease.
Molecular predictor of metastatic prostate cancer identified (February 2, 2011)Prostate tumors that carry a "signature" of four molecular markers have the potential to become dangerously metastatic if not treated aggressively, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers report in an online study published by the journal Nature.
Study identifies potential mechanism of drug resistance of CLL (December 6, 2010)Dana-Farber investigators found that when CLL cells from patients were grown with non-cancerous support cells from the bone marrow and lymph nodes, the CLL cells were more resistant to apoptosis — and hence harder to kill with treatment — than were CLL cells from the bloodstream.
Trio of drugs makes major mark against multiple myeloma (May 18, 2010)Initial results of a novel three-drug combination therapy in patients with multiple myeloma have been so encouraging that Dana-Farber researchers believe the treatment may delay the need for a stem cell transplant in some cases.
OncoMap guides search for patterns in tumors (January 26, 2010)Conceiving a new use for existing technology can have as big an impact as inventing a novel technology itself. Witness the OncoMap program in Dana-Farber's Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, which helps scientists tap information in tumor samples to advance understanding of adult and childhood cancers.
Radiation research has dual role (September 28, 2009)Researchers have not only helped develop the first-ever test for radiation exposure, but also found leads toward drugs that could reduce the harmful effects of radiation.
Found: Protein that stops spread of cancer (September 28, 2009)Dana-Farber researcher Jean Zhao, PhD, and a team of fellow Dana-Farber scientists have added a new piece to the puzzle of explaining how a series of molecular changes enables free-floating cancer cells to survive and spread.
Researchers uncover clues to origins of ovarian cancer (July 22, 2009)Some cancers seem to burst onto the scene in an advanced, malignant state, having already overrun a wide swath of tissue in the body. One of the most common of these tumors is known as serous ovarian cancer. Dana-Farber scientists are trying to search for their source.
Drug treatment supercharges production of cord blood stem cells (May 20, 2009)A novel drug treatment that supercharges the production of cord blood stem cells could improve outcomes of cord blood stem cell transplants.
MicroRNA assume new role in DNA repair (May 14, 2009)Among their many talents as message couriers and gene regulators, microRNA molecules also help control the repair of damaged DNA within cells, Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School scientists have found.
New hope for patients with rare brain tumors (March 11, 2009)A few young children may be cured and others given a better shot at long term survival thanks to a new therapy regimen administered to young patients with an aggressive type of brain tumor, say Dana-Farber researchers.
Tiny particles offer big promise for lung cancer treatment (February 26, 2009)Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, a cardiothoracic surgeon in the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, is testing a small solution to the problem of lung cancer recurrence following surgery.
Protein biomarkers may guide breast cancer treatment (February 2, 2009)Dana-Farber researchers have identified a set of proteins that may aid in the treatment of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer designated "triple-negative."
International consortium to catalog cancer's secrets (July 23, 2008)Leading research institutions in nine countries, including Dana-Farber, have joined forces to uncover the genetic changes that make cancer cells dangerous and elusive.
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