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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/

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

17 10, 2015

Thank you rant

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A number of you have already contributed to help CrowdCare Foundation fund a pair of cutting edge T cell trials in Germany and John Hopkins in Baltimore. THANK YOU! For those of you on-the-fence, I wanted to share some good news. A friend has agreed to match any contribution—dollar for dollar—up to a total of

12 10, 2015

We can’t wait for a cure!

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I had a chance to see myeloma patient and CrowdCare Foundation co-founder, Jenny Ahlstrom, in Boston last week. She made an impassioned plea to anyone that would listen to help her raise money to pay for two cutting edge T cell clinical trials; one in the U.S. and one in Germany. Here's information about the

7 10, 2015

Immunotherapy angst: Why is myeloma code so tough to crack?

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We were all so excited! Dying myeloma patient, Stacy from Minnesota, responded miraculously to Mayo Clinic's experimental measles vaccine therapy. Yet apparently attempts to match this early success is fleeting. U.S. News and World Report ran an excellent update yesterday about how researchers are mobilizing patient's immune systems to fight their cancer. The ongoing Mayo

1 10, 2015

Genetics and individualized myeloma therapy

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An important prognostic development was announced earlier this year by researchers in England. Check out this excerpt from MedPageToday's special report, Mutations in Myeloma Predict Outcome: The identification of 15 clinically relevant mutations in myeloma and the development of an international staging system mutation score (ISS-MUT) may make it possible to stratify patients with myeloma

26 09, 2015

New “gold standard” therapy for multiple myeloma?

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Last year at ASH, everyone was anticipating FDA approval of carfilzomib (Kyrpolis) and pomalidomide (Pomalyst). It felt a lot like it does now, expecting the first two myeloma related immunotherapies, elotuzumab and daratumumab, to be approved within the next six months. I remember several high profile myeloma specialists (the IMF's Dr. Durie and Dana-Farber's Dr.

23 09, 2015

Update on ixazomib

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Don't sleep on ixazomib. My sources tell me to expect a flood of positive data about Takeda's oral proteasome inhibitor (MLN9708) at this year's ASH in Orlando. We should get a glimpse of things to come at the 15th International Myeloma Workshop (IMW 2015) in Rome, Italy, from September 23 to 26, 2015. Ixazomib is