Is Itching a Sign of Pancreatic Cancer?

Itching that occurs periodically is not a sign of pancreatic cancer. In fact, most people diagnosed with the disease will not experience this symptom. A potential symptom of pancreatic cancer is progressive itching that intensifies over a few weeks and is accompanied by jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). If you notice changes to … Continued

Immunotherapy for Blood Cancers: What’s New?

Immunotherapy for cancer has made some of its biggest inroads against hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma, with treatments such as checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapies producing long-lasting remissions in some patients. But there’s broad agreement that the potential of such therapies has only begun to be tapped and that combining immunotherapy drugs … Continued

Researchers Identify New Source of Drug Resistance in Prostate Cancer

For designers of targeted drugs, the biggest bullseye in prostate cancer has been the androgen receptor — a specialized net on prostate cells that snares androgen molecules to spur the cells’ growth. Drugs that block, or inhibit, the receptor can halt the cancer, but not all patients benefit from them, and nearly all those who … Continued

Does Having Cancer Once Increase the Risk of Developing Other Cancers?

People who have had cancer may in some cases have a higher than average risk of developing a new cancer — that is, a cancer not related to the spread, or metastasis, of the original tumor. While the vast majority of people diagnosed with cancer do not develop a different malignancy later in life, it’s … Continued

Can Lung Cancer Be Related to Air Pollution?

Medically reviewed by Michael Cheng, MD A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found that in 2010, air pollution was responsible for 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide. The findings were so striking that they prompted the agency, a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), to classify outdoor air pollution … Continued

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: From a Sprint to a Marathon

When Kirsten Erlandsen was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2008, she approached her treatment like it was one of her road races. The mother of two knew that completing each treatment session brought her one stop closer to the “finish line” and her goal of becoming cancer-free. However, after a year of running … Continued

Scientists Reveal How Lung Cancer Cancer Cells Avoid Death from Targeted Drugs

Perhaps the biggest challenge in precision cancer therapy is tumors’ nasty habit of rebounding after an initial attack with targeted drugs has shrunk them almost out of existence. Instead of vanishing completely, curing the patient, the tumors leave behind a small cadre of cells that slumber in a dormant state, only to return in a … Continued

New Studies Show Promise in Treatment of NUT Carcinoma

Medically reviewed by Geoffrey Shapiro, MD, PhD, and Christopher French, MD Although it is one of the most aggressive solid tumors in humans, NUT carcinoma responds better to treatment in some patients than others. But because it is rare — with only 20 to 30 cases diagnosed annually in the United States — doctors have … Continued

What is Mantle Cell Lymphoma and How Is It Treated?

Medically reviewed by Ann S. LaCasce, MD, MMSc Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare, often aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that involves white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which help protect the body from disease. It is named for its origins in the mantle zone — a ring of cells within the … Continued

Multiple Myeloma Fails to Keep Football Player-Turned-Broadcaster Out of Action

Many sports stars have helped support research and care at Dana-Farber by appearing on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation, but few have done so quite like pro football wide receiver-turned-broadcaster Jimmy Cefalo. When Cefalo was interviewed on-air during the August 2019 event at Fenway Park, he used the opportunity to share some … Continued

Anal Cancer: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Douglas Rubinson, MD, PhD Anal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body and at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. What is the leading theory on why the incidence rate has risen … Continued

What Does a Thyroid Cancer Lump Feel Like?

Medically reviewed by Jochen H. Lorch, MD, MS While 80 to 90 percent of reported thyroid lumps are not cancerous, performing “neck checks” can help you become familiar with what your thyroid looks and feels like, so you can tell your health care professional if you notice any changes. Jochen Lorch, MD, director of the … Continued

What Are the Differences Between Lymphocytic and Myelogenous Leukemia?

Medically reviewed by Martha Wadleigh, MD Leukemia arises from malfunctions in stem cells within the bone marrow that cause abnormal white blood cells to flood into the bloodstream. Leukemias are classified as either myelogenous (also called myeloid) or lymphocytic, depending on which types of white blood cells are affected. What is the difference between these types … Continued

Nobel Prize Research Was a Winning Formula for Patient with Kidney Cancer

Early on an October morning, Shaun Tierney started a promising new treatment for his stage IV kidney cancer. Anxious to tell his longtime oncologist, he texted Toni Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber. What he didn’t expect was that Choueiri would have his own big news: “Kaelin … Nobel … Continued

How Long Does Chemotherapy Stay in Your Body?

Chemotherapy agents are powerful drugs that are used to treat cancer throughout the body. Chemotherapy drugs work by a variety of different mechanisms, but their general effect is to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, which divide and proliferate quickly. Chemotherapy is administrated with the intention of eliminating cancer cells so that the infected body can survive … Continued

What’s the Difference Between Melanoma and Skin Cancer?

Melanoma is not a different disease from skin cancer. It is, rather, a form of skin cancer. Of the three major forms of skin cancer, melanoma is the rarest but also the most aggressive. It is diagnosed in more than 96,000 people in the United States each year, and patients generally have a good prognosis … Continued

Young Investigators Use Patient Samples for Cancer Studies

In their search for better treatments for breast, ovarian, and other cancers, young investigators Jennifer Guerriero, PhD, and Sarah Hill, MD, PhD, rely on a precious commodity — patient tissue samples obtained by surgeons in Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. Studies of these normal and cancerous tissues, which are collected, banked, and … Continued