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Monthly Archives: October 2013

31 10, 2013

When it comes to myeloma, two heads are better than one!

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I met with my medical oncologist, Dr. Vikas Malhotra, for the first time since last month's relapse today.  He reviewed my test results, including the MRI of my left hip.  It reminded me why working together as a team is so important. I felt that Dr. Malhotra and his physicians assistant, Ann, made some innovative

30 10, 2013

Immunotherapy, alternative and complementary medicine

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Yesterday's post focused on why some patient's immune systems fight off multiple myeloma better than others.  Later in the day I hosted an on-air support group meeting featuring special guest, myeloma specialist Dr. Craig Hofmeister.  He spent much of the hour discussing immunotherapy--his specialty. Here's a link to the broadcast: Immunotherapy is a hot

29 10, 2013

Strengthening our immune systems key to living longer

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I wanted to share access to an important study that a reader forwarded to me last week.  Researchers studied patients from a single myeloma clinic, focusing on their immune systems.  They discovered that some patients with stronger immune systems lived significantly longer.  Makes sense.  But unlike many studies, this one was able to answer a

26 10, 2013

Mayo Clinic demystifies proteasome inhibitors

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I just read an incredibly detailed and helpful review of FDA approved--and experimental--proteasome inhibitors . Three up-and-coming myeloma specialists at Mayo Clinic, Vinay Gupta, Wilson Gonsalves and Shaji Kumar.  Did you know that there are four second generation PIs in the research pipeline? Oprozomib, ixazomib, marizomib and delanzomib are all "currently being investigated in clinical

25 10, 2013

Dr. Richardson doesn’t disappoint!

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Dana-Farber's renown myeloma specialist, Dr. Paul Richardson, shared his thoughts about if, how and when autologous and/or allogeneic (using donor cells) stem cell transplants should be used to treat multiple myeloma. The program was scheduled to end after one hour.  But there were so many questions--and Dr. Richardson's answers were so thorough and detailed--the program

24 10, 2013

This month’s test results: Good and bad news

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When I left home this morning for Moffitt Cancer Center it was still dark.  I try and avoid early morning rush hour.  But my myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina, had fit me in before her regular patient schedule began today.  I was anxious to learn the results of this month's blood tests, along with an MRI of my

23 10, 2013

Dr. Paul Richardson this week; Dr. Craig Hofmeister next week

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Dana-Farber's Dr. Paul Richardson will be the featured guest on Thursday night's Myeloma Cure Panel broadcast.  And Ohio State's myeloma expert, Dr. Craig Hofmeister, will be joining us for our on-air multiple myeloma support group meeting next Tuesday. Click on the link below for the phone number to listen live via phone or on your

22 10, 2013

Viagra Virus update


This summer, malicious malware I nicknamed the Viagra Virus, started inserting unseemly promotional material into the middle of email subscriptions of my blog.  Fortunately it wasn't "contagious," and only appeared in the email summary, not when readers clicked on the link that appeared at the top of daily emails, transferring them to the actual blog

21 10, 2013

New pathway may hold key to multiple myeloma cure

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Could immunotherapy be the key to a multiple myeloma cure?  One thing's for sure; new drugs like elotuzumab and daratumumab offer hope that researchers are developing new and significant ways to attack our cancer. The International Myeloma Foundation's, Dr. Brian Durie, blogs about immunotherapy in this month's edition of the IMF's Myeloma Minute.  Here's an

20 10, 2013

Helpful resource for newly diagnosed patients

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Newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers can learn a lot here at MMB, without scrolling through years of past posts. Simply click-0n the NEW tab at the top of the page.  There you'll find my thoughts about what is most important for newbies to learn--and resources to learn more.  Here's the link: Want to

19 10, 2013

Multiple myeloma surivors are TOUGH!

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I just flew back from my second Light the Night walk/fundraising appearance away from home the last two weeks.  Last week the LLS sponsored event was a big one in Boston.  Last night's walk was a smaller, more family oriented gathering in Hampton, near Williamsburg, Virginia.  My energy level is good.  This week is the

18 10, 2013

More about chemo brain

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Yesterday I ran a story about a chemo brain study that's recruiting participants at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.  My good friend, Robin Tuohy, forwarded me a pair of additional links about chemo brain, including a study following stem cell transplantation, and a  YouTube video by Dr. Durie on the topic:  

17 10, 2013

Can chemo brain be fixed?

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Regular readers know that I'm being treated at Moffitt Cancer Center--on the campus of the University of South Florida--ever since I relocated to Florida just over four years ago.  I'm proud to share the news that Moffitt researchers are exploring ways to improve the cognitive impairment that often develops in patients undergoing long term chemotherapy,

16 10, 2013

Who needs Ativan! Have you hugged your cat today?

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You probably sensed from the tone of yesterday's post that I'm stressing this week.  Traveling to and from Moffitt for an MRI, waiting for results, then flying to speak to a group in Virginia on Thursday.  I'm hurting and tired.  Experience tells me that my left iliac crest won't be the only hot-spot to show

13 10, 2013

Panobinostat helps 50% of relapsed patients in new Dana-Farber study

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When I first started covering multiple myeloma news five years ago, an experimental drug, panobinostat, was one of the first to catch my eye.  But after a hot start, "pan" was overshadowed by carfilzomib (Kyprolis) and pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and seemingly disappeared.  I'm pleased to report that panobinostat may be making a comeback. In an article

12 10, 2013

Myeloma: To Transplant or not, featuring Dr. Paul Richardson


Dr. Paul Richardson will be our featured guest on this month's Myeloma Cure Panel talk show.  Broadcast on Blog Talk Radio, I will be questioning Dr. Richardson, with help from co-host and fellow Floridian, Gary Petersen, and myeloma survivors from California, Jack Aiello and Nick Van Dyk. The show will air live Thursday, October 24th