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15 12, 2015

This is why I do what I do

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I experience countless emotional moments as I hear from myeloma patients and caregivers from around the country and sometimes, around the world. I wanted to share an exceptionally personal one with you here today. In October, I flew up to Boston for an annual reunion of Myeloma Patient Ambassadors. I was a member of the

14 12, 2015

Back to ASH: Ninlaro and Pomalyst combo promising

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Before I pass along important information about Takeda's new oral proteasome inhibitor, Ninlaro (ixazomib), I wanted to share an update about how I'm doing. Much better, thank you very much!  Squirting a shot of vancomycin liquid into the back of my mouth (yuck) every six hours seems to be doing the trick. Another antibiotic, Flagyl,

13 12, 2015

BMT Bondage

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I'm feeling a much better today. I was in such a dark place. Feverish and saddled with abdominal pain and now nine days of diarrhea, To be wheeled from ICU up to the BMT unit was discouraging beyond words. But as so many of reminded me with love and certainty, "It will get better!" Funny

12 12, 2015

I’m tired of being sick

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They moved me from the University of Iowa ICU to the 7th floor BMT Unit late last night. I'd like to say that I'm resting comfortably. Still no fun on so many levels, but I am feeling well enough to get up and get around. I did eat oatmeal for breakfast and part of a

11 12, 2015

I’m in the ICU

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I left Orlando Wednesday afternoon. Sorry that I didn't post Thursday, but I was too sick--and in too much pain to do anything but moan, groan and sleep. A was already in bad shape when I arrived in Detroit to catch my connecting flight to Iowa City for tests. Missed the tests, ended up in

8 12, 2015

More drugs are good, but aren’t enough

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Data for more than a dozen "new" myeloma drugs was presented at this week's American Society of Hematology (ASH) meetings here in Orlando. As I described yesterday, several are hopeful crossover drugs; compounds that are already FDA approved for use against other cancers. Keytruda, known chemically as pembrolizumab, and ricolinostat (ACY-1215), another possible cross over

7 12, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Early data featuring Darzalex in combination with Revlimid

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As promised, here are details from a preliminary study showing impressive response rates when Darzalex (daratumumab) is combined with Revlimid and dexamethasone. Similarly impressive numbers were also achieved when the immunotherapy drug was used along with pomalidomide. I'll pass along those details later today after that data is presented. Back to Darzalex and Revlimid. Very

4 12, 2015

Has bad timing left ASH irrelevant?

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I'm almost packed. Tomorrow I'll be driving three hours south to Orlando to attend my 7th American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting. Seven years! How the multiple myeloma therapy landscape has changed. Heck, things have been turned upside down in three short weeks. The Washington Post ran an impressive article about it on Wednesday:

1 12, 2015

More about elotuzumab (Empliciti). Are immunotherapies the answer?

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In my haste to get the news out about elotuzumab's FDA approval yesterday, I mistakenly relied on a Cure Magazine article that stated Kyprolis was the drug used in combination with elo. I was surprised, but ran with it. I should have known better. The Cure Magazine article was mistaken. Elotuzumab (Empliciti), Revlimid and dexamethasone

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/