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Dr. James Berenson to discuss therapy options without using transplants

Home/News, Research, Side effects, Therapy, Tips/Dr. James Berenson to discuss therapy options without using transplants

Dr. James Berenson to discuss therapy options without using transplants

Dr. James Berenson, will be answering questions during our monthly Myeloma Cure Panel discussion this evening.

As we all know, technology isn’t always perfect.  So unfortunately, only 50 patients and caregivers can listen to the 6 PM discussion live.  And those slots are full.

BUT, the good news is a link to the broadcast will be available soon thereafter, hopefully Friday.  I will pass-along a link so you can listen to the recorded version.

It may be for the best, because there are already more questions logged than the good doctor can answer!  And I know I plan to toss Dr. Berenson a bit of a curve ball.  I’m sure we will run out of time.  An hour can fly-by so fast!

UPDATES: November 29th Myeloma Cure Panel Talk Show Overbooked, Thanks All For Your Support and Take a Peek at the Questions to be Discussed

The Cure Panel Talk Show featuring Dr. James R. Berenson from IMBCR is completely booked. We thank everyone who has supported us and look forward to an informative and interactive web panel discussion with Dr. Berenson and the panelists on the topic: Myeloma Treatment without Transplant.

We continue to receive myeloma questions from our panelists and registered participants. Here is a peek view at some of the questions that will be discussed in the Cure Panel Talk Show on 29th November at 6pm EST:

  1. For a long time you have not favored transplant and are definitely in the “Less is Best” or “Quality of life” corner of the treatment continuum. For a long time it had appeared that the thinking was trending toward this philosophy, however recently I see momentum moving toward “More is Best” or “the aggressive approach”. As it is now, your program has shown outstanding results, with the best 5 year survival rate yet reported on What is your treatment philosophy now for the typical low risk patient, and are you having any second thoughts about transplant?
  2. Some 10 years ago, in the era before the new novel agents you have shown a 16 year observed survival rate(includes all deaths) of nearly 40%. The average life expectancy of the average American at age 70(which is the average age of a myeloma patient) is 16 years. Which means the observed survival rate is 50%. This means you are within 10% percentage points of having patients live as long as the average American. This is truly remarkable! So with new novel drugs, do you think your current patients are going to live as long or even outlive the average American, and if so would this not be as good as a cure?
  3. For the 15% of high risk patients, no one seems to have found the right treatment plan for this subset of patients. Have you had any success in this area and do you see any breakthroughs in high risk treatment.
  4. Last year in Blood the Spanish MM group reported “The relapse rate is low in transplant patients with >11 years of follow-up, possibly signifying a cure for patients in CR.”  An ASCO 2011 (Rossi, et al) study reports that Progression-Free Survival is not affected by Transplant after Revlimid. How is a patient to decide whether or not to consider transplant as a treatment option?Last year at ASH, a UK study showed that Zometa has an anti-myeloma effect (perhaps a 4-5 month survival improvement).  As a long-time investigator of Aredia and now Zometa, do you agree with these findings?  And along these lines, what’s your protocol for prescribing Zometa…e.g. monthly for 1-2 yrs, then every 3 mos if patient still symptomatic or stop usage; use indefinitely; something else?
  5. Which salvage therapies have worked best for you?  
  6. Do you have a “typical” first treatment, e.g. Rd, RVd?  How might Carfilzomib and Pomolidomide (when approved) change this when both are available for newly diagnosed patients? 
  7. What sort of results are you seeing with carfilzomib? Is it solely being used for relapsed or refactory patients or also newly diagnosed patients? 
  8. With your research,  what are you seeing in terms of a cure or new form of treatment? 
  9. Also with regard to your research,  do you spend any time looking at the cause of myeloma..such as genetics or exposure to certain toxins? 
  10. What does Dr. Berenson think of CRD–carfilzomib/revlimid/dex–for newly diagnosed. I am currently in the CRD trial at the NIH. It is similar to Dr. Jakubowiak’s Michigan CRD trial which had excellent results. 
  11. I was diagnosed with IgD/Kappa MM in June. It is considered to be a rare form of MM. I would like to know what are the treatments, complications, and prognosis for this disease. 
  12. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August 2012. I have been on Valcade, dex, thalamid (which was recently changed to Revlimid).  My numbers are coming down and I am expected to be at remission levels sometime around New Year January 2013.  I have struggled on Chemo and getting infections that put me in hospital. I have been extremely healthy my whole life.  I had gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and lost 120 pounds and felt great! Until the build up to this myeloma diagnosis. I live in Little Rock and everyone (including my oncologist) wants me to have stem cell transplant at UAMS. I am very afraid my body can not withstand the treatment.  I have been so sick already.  I need to research other options. I am a sales rep and I don’t know what other options will allow me to live a fairly normal life.  Any thoughts? 
  13. Watching football this season.  Players are out of the game with broken arms, ribs, hands, collar bones, etc.  Three weeks later they are back playing again.  What do these guys take for bone healing and bone strength, and is there something we should be taking in addition to zometa or aridea?  I get mixed answers on calcium and what type of calcium to take. 
  14. For the sequential minimalist “Less is Best” or “Quality of Life”  approach of Dr. Berenson, what treatment plans does he use, i.e. what are the specific therapy drugs? 
  15. Also, since I have not yet had a stem cell transplant, though this has been presented as the next step in my treatment, after about March 10, 2013, please discuss specifically how you (Dr. Berenson) feel the stem cell transplant reduces one’s quality of life.

Dr. Berenson’s appearance timing is ironic, considering the Myeloma Beacon ran results from a study yesterday reaffirming the value of using an auto SCT as possible salvage therapy.  My favorite thing about Dr. Berenson is his candor.  You may not always agree with him, but he isn’t afraid to tell you his opinion.

It should be an interesting ASH this year!  I will be leaving for Atlanta a week from today.  Meetings start first thing Friday morning.  Better rest-up!  My cold is almost gone–thank God!  Now I need to adjust to adding dex to my Revlimid/Velcade therapy mix.  It’s always something, right?

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat