Stem cell transplants

Stem cell transplants need to be improved!

Post in Transplants

Even before my autologous stem cell transplant failed in 2011, I’ve supported expanding high dose chemotherapy to include more than melphalan.

Outside of the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy (MIRT) in Arkansas, few transplant centers deviate from the melphalan only norm.   But common sense tells me expanding the spectrum of drugs might increase the chance of success.  After all, your bone marrow is being destroyed anyway.

That’s why a Phase 2 clinical trial being funded by Myeloma Canada caught my eye.  It adds a drug called busulfan to melphalan during the conditioning process.  The trial was developed two years ago, but seems to be ongoing.  Best I can tell, it’s being hosted at a dozen different sites, all in Canada.  No word yet on whether it significantly enhances SCT results.

Here’s a list of events and projects that Myeloma Canada promoted in 2014:

• Application filed with pCODR, which resulted in a positive recommendation to support public funding of Pomalyst, conditional on the cost-effectiveness being improved to an acceptable level

• Conduct of MCRN001 clinical trial in 9 centers across Canada

• Myeloma Canada/Cancer Research Society’s 120K Research Grant awarded to Dr Sabine May, Senior Investigator at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology in Winnipeg

• Info sessions in various cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton and St. Catharines)

• Along with the Make Miles Matter for Myeloma-Run for Ruth campaign, Educational Sessions held in various cities to inform patients on new drugs in the pipeline, as well as on the drug approval and reimbursement process in Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, St. John’s and Vancouver)

• Annual Myeloma Canada National Conference in Edmonton

• T.E.A.M Award given to CORD (Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders)for its tremendous support to Orphan disease’s patient groups;
• Annual Myeloma Canada Scientific Roundtable, attended by over 60 researchers and key opinion leaders in multiple myeloma field

• First Myeloma Canada Support Group Leader Summit to support the work of the 21 Support Group Leaders in the country

• Annual Multiple Myeloma March which gathered approximately 1000 participants

• Annual Advocacy Summit that empowered the patient and caregivers to advocate locally for health care

• Awareness Day at Queen’s Park to inform MPP’s on issues faced by myeloma patients in Ontario

• Approaching its 10th anniversary, Myeloma Canada held a National Consultation, a grassroots initiative aimed to better understand the needs of its stakeholders: patients, caregivers, healthcare professional and partners. This tour has included interviews and-or group sessions in 14 cities from St John’s to Vancouver Island. Acknowledging the most common unmet needs reported by stakeholders, a strategic plan for 2015-2018, will be presented in the coming months.