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12 07, 2013

I survived another “triple witching therapy hour!”

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What the heck is a "triple witching hour?" According to Mark Koba, Senior Business Editor for CNBC, "Witching hours occur when financial contracts—specifically options and futures—end on the third Friday of a month.  Traditionally, all contracts expire in the same hour—thus the name witching hour—usually the last hour of trading." And the end of the

1 06, 2013

Are myeloma specialists encouraged to prescribe bisphosphonates unnecessarily?

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This news predates ASCO, but an important article in Medscape Today is worth a look.  Based on data, I'm not sure the recommendations of International Myeloma Working Group make much sense.  Check out this excerpt from an article written by Dr. Laurie Barclay, New Guidelines for Multiple Myeloma-Related Bone Disease: New guidelines for the management

2 05, 2011

Video Explaining How Bisphosphonates Help Strengthen Bones Of Myeloma Patients

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I flew out to Los Angeles late last fall to interview Dr. James Berenson at the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. Novartis Oncology paid for my time and travel.  The primary purpose of the trip was to produce a video for Novartis about their IV bisphosphonate drug, Zometa.  An independent company, WEGO Health,

1 03, 2011

New Webinar About Bone Health For Multiple Myeloma Survivors Available Online

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Yesterday I provided you with a link to a site on, where patients and/or caregivers can access video footage of other patients, all discussing how they live with their cancer. Today I would like to share a link to a webinar I conducted late last year with Dr. James Berenson in Los Angeles: Multiple Myeloma

11 12, 2010

Interesting News About Bisphosphonate Zometa: Unlike Multiple Myeloma Related Studies, Zometa Found To Offer No Anti-Breast Cancer Protection

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I follow an underground, counter-culture type medical blog called Medicynic.  Always good to get a different perspective, right?  Here is a link to a story I read there today:  Why We Need Comparative Medical Studies:  Zometa.The short post features several links back to reputable articles about how Zometa "did not appear to prevent breast cancer

22 11, 2010

Australian Study Links High Levels Of Uric Acid To Stronger, Denser Bones In Men

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Here is another interesting research finding about bone strength/health from Australia's Rheumatology Update:High uric acid promotes bone healthHigher serum uric acid levels inolder men are strongly associatedwith increased bone mineraldensity (BMD) and markers ofcalcium homoeostasis and boneresorption, landmark Australianresearch has shown.A study led by Professor MarkusSeibel at the ANZAC ResearchInstitute in Sydney examined 1,705community-dwelling men

15 11, 2010

Bisphosphonate Day Today

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I'm writing this from the infusion unit at Moffitt Cancer Center here in Florida.  Time for my three month check and bisphosphonate infusion. My only concern:  Getting a good IV "stick" from my nurse.  It's only pain, right?  Let me get back to you in a few minutes and see how it goes... A super

30 10, 2010

New Study Confirms Less Is More When Using The Bisphosphonate, Aredia, In Multiple Myeloma Patients

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Lots of excitement and questions swirling around bisphosphonates lately.  Aredia is the tried and true, less expensive, more conservative option.  Zometa is much stronger than Aredia and requires a far shorter infusion time.  Both drugs can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw (OMJ).  A brand new alternative, Prolia should also be available soon.  There are other

24 10, 2010

The Myeloma Beacon Reports Details About FDA’s Bisphosphonate Alert

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There has been a lot of interest and concern about the recent FDA warning about bone strengthening drugs like Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast and Boniva.The Myeloma Beacon ran a reassuring article about the warnings for multiple myeloma patients taking the IV bisphosphonates Aredia and Zometa:New FDA Warning About Bisphosphonates Does Not Apply To Multiple Myeloma

13 08, 2010

JAMA Published Report Shows No Link Between Bisphosphonates & Gastric Cancers

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Laura Macfarlane wrote this article for an Australian oncology newsletter, Oncology Update, this week:No link between bisphosphonates and gastric cancersUK researchers have found noincreased risk of oesophageal andgastric cancer in people takingoral bisphosphonates and saythe drugs should not be withheldon that basis from those with aclinical indication for their use.Writing in JAMA, the researchersnoted the lack

24 05, 2010

ASCO News About Bisphosphonates

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There has been a long standing debate among the myeloma community concerning bisphosphonates.  Many myeloma docs now believe Zometa and Aredia provide anti-myeloma benefits, in addition to helping bones recover.  I received the following e-mail Friday from Larry, following release of pre-ASCO research data.  Larry represents a group of multiple myeloma patients who take this research very,