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Monthly Archives: September 2013

30 09, 2013

MMRF’s CoMMPass Trial encourages data sharing

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Thursday I ran the first of a three part series about three important cancer research initiatives that the MMRF announced last week. The first initiative hopes to build off momentum from the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium’s (MMRC) drive to bank tissue from a large subset of multiple myeloma patients, collected in large part by 16

29 09, 2013

Reminder: On-air myeloma support group meeting tomorrow at 6 PM

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I would like to remind my readers about tomorrow evening's on-air myeloma support group, sponsored by Cure Talk.  Priya Menon produces the broadcasts.  She blogged about how the concept got started--and Monday's 6 PM meeting--on the Cure Talk's website last week: Myeloma Survivors Reaching Out Across The Globe and Connecting on Cure Panel’s Live On

28 09, 2013

Rest in peace, daughter of the West

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I want to thank everyone who has kindly commented, called or emailed me after reading yesterday's post.  Your compassion and empathy have lifted my spirits and helped me cope.  So far, so good! One of the reasons the news of my relapse hit me so hard: I learned that a friend with multiple myeloma had

26 09, 2013

MMRF’s BIG DATA Initiative

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Today is the first of three posts that I plan to run, focusing on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation's (MMRF) drive to advance three distinct, yet overlapping initiatives. Following her appearance Monday morning on the highly rated Morning Joe television program, I wrote that MMRF Founder and CEO, Kathy Giusti, "opened the interview by clearly

22 09, 2013

To transplant or not to transplant; that is the question!

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Did you happen to catch this in-depth report,Experts Disagree on Role of Transplant in Myeloma: New drugs provide powerful options, but little consensus on standard treatments, in Clinical Oncology News last weeks? Ted Bosworth's extensive piece casts a different light on the most common question asked by newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers.  Here are

21 09, 2013

Dangers of donor transplants for myeloma patients explained

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A few months back I had an opportunity to interview transplant and myeloma specialist, Dr. Ravi Vij on a Cure Talk broadcast.  The topic, Pros and cons of using allogeneic (donor) transplants against multiple myeloma.   I asked a number of questions about this procedure that is now discouraged for myeloma patients in most transplant

18 09, 2013

Patient Snapshot: Chuck’s challenging myeloma journey (Part Three)

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Today we learn what Chuck's doctors decided to do to try and slow down his stubborn and difficult to treat multiple myeloma.   V-DCEP therapy (a combination of Velcade, dexamethasone, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and cisplatin) is a bit unconventional, but is sometimes used to hit relapsed/refractory myeloma hard and knock it back. Let's see what happened

17 09, 2013

Patient Snapshot: Chuck’s challenging myeloma journey (Part Two)

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Yesterday I promised that I would "point-out another inexcusable error, this time made by Chuck’s hematologist.  And you will learn that Chuck’s myeloma road has been far from average or easy."   Here is Part Two of Chuck's myeloma journey: I finally met with my hematologist, and he ordered another serum protein test as well as

14 09, 2013

Daratumumab ready for Stage 2 testing

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Always nice to report on a promising development.  Check-out this press release about the new rising myeloma therapy star, daratumumab, that I received last week: Genmab Announces New Study of Daratumumab in Double Refractory Myeloma Genmab Announces New Study of Daratumumab in Double Refractory Multiple Myeloma      -- After initial data read-out in Part

12 09, 2013

Black Swan Research Initiative (Part Three)

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Let me preface today's post by admitting, I was a bit disappointed with the answers to our questions by the IMF's Dr. Brian Durie, the creative mind behind Black Swan. I'm afraid I overloaded him with so many specific questions that he felt compelled to keep his answers general and brief.  After all, Dr. Durie

11 09, 2013

Black Swan Research Initiative (Part Two)

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With few exceptions, most myeloma specialists don't believe that our cancer can be cured using therapy options available today.  These exceptions include a small percentage (5-10%) of allogeneic (donor) transplant recipients, and possibly some low risk, Total Therapy grads from Arkansas.  Any others are considered outliers; rare exceptions that don't fit the norm. Five years