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18 07, 2014

Great news! POM is working!

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Following an online mix-up, I was able to review  results from last week's SPEP test, the first since I started using Pomalyst (pomalidomide).  Very encouraging! My M-spike was 0.7 and slowly rising when I switched from RVD (Revlimid, Velcade and dexamethasone) to Pomalyst three weeks ago.  I completed my first 21 day cycle Saturday.  The

23 06, 2014

Celgene Patient Support to the rescue!

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Last week I became concerned after Cigna Insurance delayed approval of my new, oral myeloma therapy, Pomalyst (pomalidomide).  After not hearing anything for three days, I contacted Celgene Patient Support. I was immediately connected with Senior Patient Support Specialist for the Jacksonville, Florida area, Kelly Jones.  Kelly spent 20 minutes on the phone with me,

8 06, 2014

Health Canada’s approval of Pomalyst only first step

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Interested in how myeloma drugs are approved and paid for in other countries?  It can get complicated.  Here's a notification from Myeloma Canada, notifying patients and caregivers that despite a recommendation for public funding,  individual provinces have not approved Pomalyst (pomalidomide) yet: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */

18 09, 2013

Patient Snapshot: Chuck’s challenging myeloma journey (Part Three)

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Today we learn what Chuck's doctors decided to do to try and slow down his stubborn and difficult to treat multiple myeloma.   V-DCEP therapy (a combination of Velcade, dexamethasone, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and cisplatin) is a bit unconventional, but is sometimes used to hit relapsed/refractory myeloma hard and knock it back. Let's see what happened

11 08, 2013

EU approves pomalidomide and broader use of Velcade

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Europe's Regulatory Commission (EC) has been busy lately.  Sort of like our FDA, the EC approved a broader use of Velcade, then gave the green light for use of Pomalyst in relapsed patients: European Commission Approves VELCADE® As A Frontline Induction Therapy Before Stem Cell Transplantation   Decision could significantly improve transplant outcomes for patients

17 04, 2013

What took so long? Pomalidomide time-line raises questions–I have answers (Part Three)

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I stuck with the original heading for the third installment of my three part investigative expose'.  But today's post could have been titled, "Different shades of grey."   Pomalidomide's development was shaped by a convoluted system that does a poor job balancing patient need with investor returns. But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Yesterday I promised

16 04, 2013

What took so long? Pomalidomide time-line raises questions–I have answers (Part Two)

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Before I get started, did you happen to see the MMRF's Kathy Giusti interviewed in the trendy tech magazine, Fast Company?  Interesting approach.  Simply click-on the headline link below to access the interview: Using Data To Treat Cancer And Drive Innovation How a pair of savvy renegades are forcing collaboration in cancer R&D--and saving lives.

27 03, 2013

If not Velcade, what next? How about oprozomib?

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I was happy to delay Monday's ongoing conversation a day in honor of myeloma hero, Elijah Alexander.  Let's jump-start things today using Dr. Alsina's own words:  “Now would be a good time to do this.”  She said.  “Your myeloma is stable.  I would do it now.” She was referring to my queries about re-visiting the