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Link Between Leukemia & Multiple Myeloma Chemo Clarified

Home/Link Between Leukemia & Multiple Myeloma Chemo Clarified

Link Between Leukemia & Multiple Myeloma Chemo Clarified

My good friend, fellow multiple myeloma patient, blogger and newest “watch dog” has been critical of several of my latest articles.

Thanks, Nick! That’s OK–we all aren’t going to agree all of the time. I appreciate someone as committed and well informed as Nick taking the time to respond to some of my thoughts.

Nick’s latest concern focused on Wednesday’s post about multiple myeloma patients later developing leukemia. You can go back and read the article and his comment if you like.

Nick felt I was implying novel therapy agents like Revlimid or Velcade could cause leukemia. I wasn’t. To the best of my knowledge, there is no link between these drugs and leukemia. But there is a link between two other commonly used anti-myeloma chemo drugs–cytoxan and melphalan–and leukemia, and sometimes lymphoma.

I don’t believe the use of melphalan as a single, high dose therapy prior to a stem cell transplant(SCT) holds much leukemia risk. But melphalan and cytoxan can negatively affect a patient when used for extended periods of time–a risk which may well be worth taking–but a risk nonetheless.

I apologize if I alarmed or misled any of my readers about any of this. But I stand by what I wrote. There must be some long term, detrimental affects of taking Revlimid or Velcade over a long period of time–we just don’t know what they are yet.

Again, probably worth the risk. I think so. But in a world where we worry about exposure to pesticides and household chemicals and high voltage electric wires, you can’t convince me that pumping our bodies full of toxic chemicals is good for us.

Try not to obsess over this stuff–it will drive you/me crazy! So don’t worry, feel good and keep smiling! Taking novel therapies which extend our lives sure beats the alternative! Pat