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Monthly Archives: September 2009

30 09, 2009

New Myeloma Drug CEP-18770

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According to the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), CEP-18770, a boronic-acid based compound, is currently being developed by the drug company Cephalon. The new drug is expected to have a number of different applications and work against several different types of cancer, including multiple myeloma. Animal studies showed CEP-18770 to be superior to Velcade, both in

28 09, 2009

More About Pro’s/Con’s/Timing Of Stem Cell Transplants

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Here is a good, basic article about if and when to transplant in myeloma patients from this month's BMT e-newsletter:For years, few therapies showed promise for myeloma patients. But in the last ten years a new group of drugs to treat multiple myeloma have significantly prolonged survival for multiple myeloma patients. These drugs –Thalomid®

24 09, 2009

More Than A Coincidence!

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We have all heard the expression, "Life is stranger than fiction." So you tell me - what are the odds that, on my flight back home to Tampa today that I, a multiple myeloma patient, activist and author, would sit next to a pathologist who specializes in multiple myeloma?Let me introduce you to Tony Safo.

23 09, 2009

Florida, Here I come!

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As many of you know from reading our blogs, my wife Pattie and I recently moved to Florida. Or should I say my wife has moved to Florida. I spend two weeks of each month with her there. Then I spend the next two weeks here in Wisconsin. Pattie is an administrative assistant for several

21 09, 2009

Waiting, Wondering, Worrying – Continued

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I referenced yesterday's post on my www.HelpWithCancer.Org blog this morning and continued this important thread there. Who ever knew prostate cancer and myeloma patients had so much in common? It's the waiting, wondering and worrying AND then trying to decide which of several treatment options you should try first. No pressure there! I't just your

20 09, 2009

Waiting, Wondering, Worrying

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The last two days, my posts have had a common thread - Living with multiple myeloma is hard! Sure it is, but so is having any form of cancer, or any other serious medical condition for that matter. The thing that makes dealing with myeloma so difficult is the good news/bad news situation we, as

19 09, 2009


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A fellow myeloma patient and blogger, Nick, e-mailed me last night about my book, Living with Multiple Myeloma. His curiosity sprang from a dialog we had discussing the pro's and con's of treating myeloma aggressively and preemptively(his choice),vs a more conservative, react as needed approach (my choice). The neat thing is, we are both doing

19 09, 2009

Revlimid vs Medicare

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According to the Medicare guidelines, out-patient chemotherapy should be covered under Medicare Part B. So why aren't oral chemotherapy drugs like Revlimid covered? I became eligible for Medicare benefits this month. But I am running into a number of challenges. First, Medigap insurance enrollment isn't guaranteed for beneficiaries under age 65. (I'm only 53) And

17 09, 2009

Pomalidomide Often Works Even For Patients Using Thalidomide Or Revlimid

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Here is an encouraging study from Mayo Clinic using new drug pomalidomide. Pomolidomide is an analogue (similar to) thalidomide and lenalidomide (Revlimid). This is great news for those of use trying to avoid a stem cell transplant using novel chemotherapy agents like Thalomid, Revlimid or Velcade.Pomalidomide (CC4047) Plus Low-Dose Dexamethasone As Therapy for Relapsed Multiple

17 09, 2009

What Are Corticosteroids & Why Do Myeloma Patients Need Them?

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I wrote this post in July. Thought it was worth another look:The book, 100 Questions & Answers About Myeloma, gives an excellent lay-persons explanation of corticosteroids and how they work. Not familiar with the term? Prednisone and dexamethasone are both corticosteroids. Not to be confused with anabolic steroids often used by athletes, both prednisone and

15 09, 2009

Why Maroon?

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At the IMF multiple myeloma conference I attended several weeks ago, a number of the patients and staff were wearing maroon wrist bands, similar to the bright yellow Lance Armstrong "Live Strong!" wrist band we have all seen for years. You may have noticed the color and design of the masthead at the top of

14 09, 2009

How Does Revlimid Work?

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I have now been using Revlimid (lenalidomide) for 27 consecutive months and it is still working! But how does it work? Lenalidomide is an immune-modulating therapy that acts to improve the immune system. Administered orally, lenalidomide also helps block the blood supply to cancer cells so that tumors cannot grow. Lenalidomide is molecular variation, or

13 09, 2009

Myeloma, Myeloma Everywhere!

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My neighbor at our home in Tampa, Florida has myeloma. The brother-in-law of the woman I sat next to on the flight back to Minnesota has myeloma. My mother's best friend has myeloma. Can it be true? Only 19,000 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed each year in the United States, yet everywhere I

11 09, 2009

New Clinical Trial A Success!

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Jessica Langholtz reported earlier this month that The Journal of Clinical Oncology revealed a Phase II clinical trial, using a combination regimen of Actimid (pomalidomide) and low-dose dexamethasone (Decadron), was highly effective in the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients.Actimid belongs to a class of therapeutic agents called immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), which are