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Monthly Archives: February 2015

28 02, 2015

Total Therapy a possible cure?

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My good friend, Gary Petersen, recently returned from his annual visit to UAMS in Arkansas with a clean bill of health.  He's not far from being a decade myeloma free.  I have written several times, asking why more newly diagnosed patients aren't encouraged to try Total Therapy.  The upside is literally off-the-charts.  Gary's remarkable run

23 02, 2015

Shocking about-face: FDA approves panobinostat

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In an unexpected move today, the FDA approved the new myeloma therapy, panobinostat. The approval is surprising, considering the FDA's own advisory committee had recommended denying Novartis' approval request as recently as November: Panobinostat gets a “thumbs down” in preliminary FDA hearing   FDA approval of panobinostat unlikely   Why the 180 degree turn-around?  I'll

23 02, 2015

Myeloma therapy advances big and small

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Speaking of new treatment options, here's an excerpt from an excellent summary of what I consider to be "stopgap" myeloma therapy measures until new immunotherapy technology moves front and center: Treatment Triplets Offer New Strategies in Relapsed Multiple Myeloma Anita T. Shaffer - Published Online: Friday, February 20, 2015 The treatment options for patients

22 02, 2015

Running out of treatment options? FDA may be able to help

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The FDA is considering a radical new, streamlined approach to granting access to experimental drugs.  For those of us that desperately need more myeloma treatment options, I can't imagine better news. Read this excerpt from the opinion pages in last week's New York Times: The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a greatly simplified process

21 02, 2015

The search is on for underfunded clinical trials that can help us NOW!

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I ran this press release several weeks ago.  There's still time for researchers and myeloma specialists to submit their ideas for funding: New Crowdfunding Myeloma Initiative Begins With Call For Letters Of Intent For High-Risk Multiple Myeloma Solutions SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) is calling for research

19 02, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Revlimid receives expanded FDA approval

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I received some good news from Eliza Schleifstein with Cegene.  She passed along this information for me to share: Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the existing indication for REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone to include patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The treatment is

16 02, 2015

Another creative way to get the word out

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There are lots of different ways to get the word out about multiple myeloma.  Here's a fun, silly one, courtesy my newly adopted, North Florida support group doing the mambo for myeloma: There wasn't much room, so I volunteered to move up-front and mambo on my knees.  We're "dancing" to a modified version of

13 02, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: A tale of two promising myeloma therapies

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I'm delaying a follow up post I've been working on, Reaching patients in need can be challenging, to bring you some important news concerning two important new drugs--ixazumib and SAR650984--and the companies that make them. Ixazomib first.  An oral proteasome inhibitor, ixazomib (MLN9708) was developed by Millinnium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Early clinical trial results

11 02, 2015

59 years and I WANT MORE!

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Today is my 59th birthday.  Considering the Mayo Clinic specialist that admitted me said the median life expectancy for a Stage 2, multiple myeloma patient my age (with such extensive bone damage) was a short 43 months, I'm ecstatic to still be around! We aren't statistics.  And one half of patients live longer than the

10 02, 2015

MMRF supports innovative research

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The good research news continues, as scientists collaborate (and compete) to discover new anti-myeloma pathways: Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Inflection Biosciences Collaborate on a New Cancer Treatment DUBLIN and NORWALK, Conn. – February 9, 2015– Inflection Biosciences Ltd., a private company developing highly innovative treatments for cancer, today announced a collaboration with the Multiple

9 02, 2015

Despite challenges, I’m blessed!

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Regardless of inconvenience and pain, days like yesterday make life worth living. The weather was perfect: 70 degrees and sunny, with just a hint of a breeze off the unusually calm ocean water.  Pattie, our dog, Finnegan, and I headed to the far southern part of the Island.  The beach there borders one of three

7 02, 2015

LLS announces travel assistance for myeloma patients

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My old friend, myeloma survivor Richard Blustein, shared some great financial aid news with me earlier this week: Another benefit for blood cancer patients. No other organization helps cancer patients like the LLS. This program will benefit those who must travel for specialized treatment. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Patient Travel Assistance Program is