New research uncovers how cancers with common gene mutation develop resistance to targeted drugs

A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers has given scientists their first look at the genomic landscape of tumors that have grown resistant to drugs targeting the abnormal KRASG12C protein. Their work shows that, far from adopting a common route to becoming resistant, the cells take a strikingly diverse set of avenues, often several at a time. The findings, reported online today in the New England Journal of Medicine, underscore the need for new drugs that inhibit KRAS differently than current agents do.

Dana-Farber researchers present key studies at ASCO annual meeting

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers are presenting dozens of research studies at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The studies will be presented during the virtual program on June 4-8, 2021. ASCO is the world’s largest clinical cancer research meeting, attracting more than 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world.

“45 is the new 50” as age for colorectal cancer screening is lowered

Prompted by a recent alarming rise in cases of colorectal cancer in people younger than 50, an independent expert panel has recommended that individuals of average risk for the disease begin screening exams at 45 years of age instead of the traditional 50.

“A concerning increase in colorectal cancer incidence among younger individuals (ie, younger than 50 years; defined as young-onset colorectal cancer) has been documented since the mid-1990s, with 11% of colon cancers and 15% of rectal cancers in 2020 occurring among patients younger than 50 years, compared with 5% and 9%, respectively, in 2010,” said Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, first author of an editorial in JAMA accompanying the article about the guideline change of the USPSTF.

CAR T-cell therapy generates lasting remissions in patients with multiple myeloma

In a major advance in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a CAR T-cell therapy has generated deep, sustained remissions in patients who had relapsed from several previous therapies, an international clinical trial has found.

Study shows sharp decline in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first COVID-19 surge

In one of the first studies to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses, researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center document a substantial decline in cancer and precancer diagnoses at the Northeast’s largest health care system during the first peak of the pandemic because of a drop in the number of cancer screening tests performed.

Circulating tumor DNA indicates increased risk of relapse after stem cell transplant in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Many patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) can be cured by a transplant using their own blood-forming stem cells, but as many as half eventually relapse. New research led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists suggests that patients whose blood or stem cell samples harbor tumor DNA are likely to relapse.

Venetoclax added to standard treatments shows promise in high-risk myeloid blood cancers

The novel oral drug venetoclax can be safely added to standard therapies for some high-risk myeloid blood cancers and in early studies the combination shows promise of improved outcomes, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

CAR T-cell therapy found highly effective in patients with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma

A CAR T-cell therapy known as axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) drove cancer cells to undetectable levels in nearly 80% of patients with advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a phase 2 clinical trial, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators report at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.

Study reveals surprising benefit of clonal hematopoiesis in allogeneic transplants

Clonal hematopoiesis (CH) is a recently identified condition in which mutations associated with blood cancers are detected in the blood of some healthy, usually older, individuals who don’t have cancer. People with CH, while asymptomatic, have an elevated risk of developing blood cancers and other negative health outcomes, including heart attacks and strokes.

Donor stem cell transplant shown to improve survival in older patients with myelodysplastic syndrome

A new clinical trial offers the most compelling evidence to date that a donor stem cell transplant can improve survival rates for older patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators report at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.

Mortality rate after cancer surgery drops during 10-year period, but gap persists between Black and white patients

Mortality rates after cancer surgery declined for Black as well as white patients during a recent ten-year period, although the mortality gap between the two groups did not narrow, according to new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University investigators.

Dana-Farber to present more than 40 research studies at 2020 ASH Annual Meeting

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers will present more than 40 research studies at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting on December 5-8, including two studies that were selected for inclusion in the official press program.

Medicaid expansion linked to lower mortality rates for three major types of cancer

In states that have expanded Medicaid availability as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mortality rates for three major forms of cancer are significantly lower than in states that have not expanded their Medicaid, a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University shows.

Targeted inhibitor of mutated KRAS gene shows promise in early trial for lung, bowel, and other solid tumors

A novel agent that targets a mutated form of the KRAS gene – the most commonly altered oncogene in human cancers and one long considered “undruggable” – shrank tumors in most patients in a clinical trial with manageable side effects, researchers reported today at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Therapeutic, which is taking place online.

Study offers global review of impact of COVID-19 on cancer treatment and research

The report, by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions, suggests that while COVID-19 has complicated the treatment of cancer patients, it has also spurred creative solutions to challenges in clinical care, and research into the new disease is benefiting from insights gained over years of cancer research.

Immunotherapy Combination Improves Outcomes in Advanced Kidney Cancer

An immunotherapy agent combined with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug significantly improved progression-free survival and reduced the risk of death compared to a single agent treatment in advanced kidney cancer patients, according to first results of a phase 3 clinical trial. The pivotal study could lead to a new treatment option for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

Daily coffee consumption associated with improved survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

In a large group of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, consumption of a few cups of coffee a day was associated with longer survival and a lower risk of the cancer worsening, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations report in a new study.

Biomarker test highly accurate in detecting early kidney cancer

A novel liquid biopsy method can detect kidney cancers with high accuracy, including small, localized tumors which are often curable but for which no early detection method exists, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The report in Nature Medicine suggests that if validated in larger trials and applied widely, the non-invasive test could find more early kidney cancers when they haven’t spread, thus reducing the mortality of the disease.

Study reveals factors influencing outcomes in advanced kidney cancer treated with immunotherapy

By analyzing tumors from patients treated with immunotherapy for advanced kidney cancer in three clinical trials, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have identified several features of the tumors that influence their response to immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs.

Immune system changes occur early in development of multiple myeloma, study finds

Long before multiple myeloma becomes a malignant disease, the collection of immune system cells and signal carriers amid the tumor cells undergoes dramatic shifts, with alterations in both the number and type of immune cells, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report in a new study.

New blood test can detect wide range of cancers, now available to at risk individuals in clinical study at Dana-Farber

In a study involving thousands of participants, a new blood test detected more than 50 types of cancer as well as their location within the body with a high degree of accuracy, according to an international team of researchers led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic.

Dana-Farber scientists present promising findings in multiple myeloma at ASH Annual Meeting

Results of studies on a novel agent to treat multiple myeloma and a combination therapy aimed at slowing the progression of a precursor myeloma condition are among reports being presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators at the ASH Annual Meeting.

Use of venetoclax in reduced-intensity transplant conditioning regimen in patients with high-risk myeloid cancers shows promise in early trial

For patients with high-risk myeloid cancers undergoing a donor stem cell transplant, adding the targeted drug venetoclax to a reduced-intensity drug regimen prior to transplant is safe and does not impair the ability of the donor cells to take root in recipients’ bodies, a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers suggests.

Genomic features of AML in patients over age 60 can predict success of bone marrow stem cell transplant, research shows

For older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the prospects for success of a stem cell transplant can often be predicted based on the particular set of genetic mutations within the tumor cells, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers will report today at the ASH Annual Meeting.