What did I do while I was stuck in Iowa waiting for test results and harvesting my stem cells? I updated two of my books, New Myeloma Therapies from a Patient’s Perspective, and Financial Aid for Myeloma Patients and Caregivers. The New Therapies book has shipped and is ready for sale.
I don’t make much money on my books. That’s not the idea; anything I do make we use to print more books. I’m trying to help the myeloma community get a handle on our fast changing world. Knowledge is power–and in the case of the Financial Aid book–it helps us save a lot of money, too.
The Financial aid book will be ready next week. In the meantime, I spent many hours updating the New Therapies book, adding–and demoting–drugs that are most likely to help us in the next two or three years. Originally published in 2013, it was overdo for an update; I try and get this done nearly every year. And no other book needs to be more timely than Myeloma Therapies. I was amazed by how much has changed in two short years. From the FDA’s surprising approval of panobinostat, to the collapse of the hopeful, already established blood cancer therapy, Vorinostat. Panobinostant and MLN9708 (ixazomib) have skyrocketed up the list. Vorinostat seems to have stalled. The FDA seems to be dragging its feet on allowing Bristols-Myers-Squib’s hot new immunotherapy drug, elotuzumab, to come to market, although the new immunotherapy drug is available through the broadest, easiest access Compassionate Use program ever allowed by the FDA.
And that’s what a lot of this book is about. It takes a close look and explains how clinical trails work, and what is hoped to be accomplished at each step. These days, by the time a genuinely innovative drug get partway through Stage 3, the drugs are usually rushed to market. Some don’t even have to wait that long. Carfilzomib (Kyprolis) was approved early in the process. So was pomalidomide (Panobinostat); both have become the gold standard for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients.
I spend time exploring advantages of combining different myeloma therapies. The book also touches on important new bio-therapies, from Mayo Clinic’s measles virus to a number of promising CAR T cell therapies that show glimpses of promise with and without being combined with stem cell transplants
Allogeneic (donor) stem cell transplants? I touch on these, too. Maybe I should have spent more time here. Mortality rates are coming down. But without some sort of T cell therapy on the back side, too many allo recipients aren’t anywhere near cured. For example, two featured recipients in our Patient Snapshot series, David and Tom, both underwent allos, and both still aren’t myeloma free. Maybe by modifying the donors T cells, boosting and training them to recognize Tom and David’s myeloma, the success rate would be much higher. But it may not be too late! I go into this at the end of the book.
As always, you can email me with questions and suggestions: [email protected]; one of the unwritten benefits of becoming part of my book club. And I plan to make more changes again after next year.
Things are moving fast. New Multiple Myeloma Therapies from a Patient’s Perspective is an easy way to keep up with it all; keep it along for reference when I report back from ASH in December and beyond.
My fourth book, Financial Aid for Myeloma Patients and Caregivers, will be available by the middle of next week. I’ll give you a shout out when you can order.
But you can order New Multiple Myeloma Therapies NOW! It’s available here at My Cancer Store.org, and on Amazon. By the way, some have trouble navigating our cumbersome and outdated shopping cart. A few pages in–when it looks like it will only take PayPal–simple move on to the next page’ and you’ll see a spot to use your credit card. Or you can email me and we’ll do it the old fashioned way: Mail me a check for $15 and I’ll we’ll mail you a book, even before the check arrives.
I’m so glad I can help! That’s one of the reasons I’m working so hard to stick around!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat