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Monthly Archives: November 2015

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28 11, 2015

Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part Five)

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Earlier this week, Danny Parker posted some compelling evidence that a drug commonly used to help control blood sugar in diabetics, metformin, may possess significant anti-myeloma properties. But could it work even better when combined with other drugs? Here's Danny's next installment: Metformin and Ritonavir as Potential Therapeutic Agents? As we described last time, there

27 11, 2015

T cell immunotherapy advancing rapidly

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Tuesday night I was part of a panel that questioned myeloma T cell therapy pioneer, Dr. Ivan Borrello of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The hour shed light on how and why researchers are so hopeful about the potential of T cell immunotherapy. Here is the replay link to the broadcast, courtesy of Cure Talks: http://www.curetalks.com/event/rsvp/A-Novel-More-Precise-and-Effective-T-Cell-Immunoth/243/

26 11, 2015

I’m thankful for my myeloma friends, alive and past

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Thanksgiving is all about family and friendships. I have made some amazing friends during my myeloma journey. Some I've never met. We've simply emailed regularly for years. Gary Shankland and I have been exchanging emails for three or four years. His wife, Jeanie, has battled an aggressive type of myeloma all this time. The couple

25 11, 2015

Financial aid: Takeda wants to help. Lets work together

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I had an opportunity to interview several Takeda Pharmaceutical team members about the company's new oral, proteasome inhibitor, Ninlaro (ixazomib), yesterday afternoon. I have heard from dozens of patients who find themselves stuck paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for two established oral chemotherapy drugs, Revlimid and Pomalyst. I'm concerned that the same obstacles might face

24 11, 2015

Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part Four)

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Following the news that not one but two new myeloma therapies are newly FDA approved, is it possible that the diabetes drug, meformin, could be a third? Before I post the fourth installment of Danny Parker's series, I wanted to update everyone about how I'm holding up. Following my first auto stem cell transplant this

18 11, 2015

Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part One)

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Last month our old friend and guest columnist, Danny Parker, approached me about writing a multi-part series about his passion: helping to control multiple myeloma using a combination of lifestyle, diet and possibly complimentary drugs not normally used to treat myeloma. I'm not sure how many of you know this, but Danny is a prolific

16 11, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: FDA approves daratumumab

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I expected daratumumab to garner FDA approval sometime after ASH. So when I saw a news alert earlier today announcing that Darzalex had been approved, I didn't pay any attention. But it didn't take long for me to figure out that Darzalex is the new trade name for daratumumab. By any name, this is wonderful

16 11, 2015

Patient Snapshot Update: Transplant survivor David from Tampa

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We've been following the progress of allogeneic (donor) stem cell transplant survivor, David, from Tampa, for a year. The young myeloma patient handled the difficult procedure better than most, but he openly expressed disappointment that his transplant didn't completely snuff out his cancer. I wrote about his thoughts in September: Patient Snapshot Update: David from

15 11, 2015

Good days? Bad days? Try both!

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It's been an interesting week. I've had better. I plan to spend a few upcoming posts to help unravel the mystery of why different patient's transplant experiences can be so different. Heck, I experienced a different complication following each of mine; my own recoveries were distinctly different, too. Of the three, my autologous stem cell transplant (SCT)

11 11, 2015

Thank God I’m Alive!

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I've been battling top to bottom GI issues. So much nausea and diarrhea that Pattie suggested I skip the hour drive to attend Mayo Clinic's monthly support group meeting. I reluctantly agreed. Too bad. My new friends there have been exceptionally supportive. GI hell or not, I'm blessed! Tough slog trying to normalize life back