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5 09, 2013

Exciting curcumin research revisited

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An impressive website,, just published an article about turmeric's  (curcumin) ability to destroy myeloma cells when combined with thalidomide.  I first wrote about this project back in July: Could synthesizing and combining anti-myeloma drugs make them more effective? staff writer, Ethan Huff, looks at things from a different angle.  Very interesting!  Allow

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.

30 11, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Combination therapy numbers including Kyprolis trending unexpectedly high

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Dr. Berenson dropped several bombshell this evening on our Myeloma Cure Panel discussion.  REAL NEWS! Although Dr. Berenson couldn’t share specific date that he will be presenting next week at ASH in Atlanta, he let slip that substituting Kyprolis for Velcade in RVD or other multiple drug resistant patients is achieving surprisingly high success rates.

9 04, 2012

The crazy world of “myeloma research speak”

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Most of you probably know that I have been working on several new books about multiple myeloma.  My third book, New Myeloma Therapies from a Patient's Perspective, will be published and available by the end of this month.  Researching this book reminded me about how difficult it can be to understand "myeloma research speak."  It

27 10, 2011

Celgene’s 3rd quarter financials released this morning

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I just posted a press release from Celgene, announcing their 3rd quarter financials for 2011 on my site. This is important information for the multiple myeloma community, since Celgene manufactures three key multiple myeloma related drugs:  Thalomid (thalidomide), Revlimid and pomalidomide. Bottom line:  Celgene raised its full year 2011 financial guidance.  This guidance consists

12 04, 2011

FDA Revlimid/Thalomid Investigation Update

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The Myeloma Beacon just broke the story about how the FDA is investigating Revlimid and Thalomid, based on research data showing a possible secondary cancer risk following long term, post transplant use. Here is an independent look at the pending investigation by Internal Medical News.  I have highlighted key points I feel are important: FDA Keeping an

9 03, 2011

Thalomid Or Velcade Both Work At Least 50% Of The Time In Patients Facing First Relapse

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According to a new Czech study, posted earlier this month on Pub, it doesn't matter whether you pick thalidomide (Thalomid) or bortezomib (Velcade) for treatment following first relapse.  Apparently both work about one half of the time.Similar efficacy of thalidomide- and bortezomib-based regimens for first relapse of multiple myeloma.Krejci M, Gregora E, Straub J,

3 03, 2011

A Bit Of Positive News During An Otherwise Slow Myeloma-Related News Cycle

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Multiple myeloma news runs in cycles and streaks.  The calendar revolves around the two largest U.S. hematology and oncology conferences:  The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) meetings in June, and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meetings in December.That is where researchers and drug companies present their most important study results.  Starting as early as

27 01, 2011

Celgene’s Global Revlimid Sales Total $2.47 Billion In 2010 – Up 45%

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Celgene Corporation, makers of the oral, anti-myeloma chemotherapy agent, Revlimid, announced their 4th quarter and full-year financials this morning. I'm not going to post all of the data here.  But several parts of the report should interest my fellow multiple myeloma patients:For the 4th quarter, Total Revenue Increased 38 Percent to $1.07 BillionGlobal REVLIMID® Net

15 11, 2010

England Makes Tough Decisions About Which Multiple Myeloma/Cancer Drugs To Allow

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Here is an in-depth, candid look at the English system of state controlled health care, where recommendations from a group of English physicians and medical experts known as NICE sometimes limits patient access to some drugs the group deems ineffective or too expensive.For example, NICE allows use of Thalomid or Velcade, but not Revlimid in

8 11, 2010

Hope For Multiple Myeloma Patients When Revlimid & Velcade Stop Working

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I have received a number of calls and e-mails recently from patients who's multiple myeloma has become active again while using Revlimid, Velcade, or both.  Here is a short, hopeful response I found addressing this on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Website:Treatment Options for Relapsed or Refractory Patients Failing Revlimid and Velcade: Q&A with

3 10, 2010

Spanish Study Confirms Use Of Anti-Myeloma Novel Therapy Agents During Induction Increases Stem Cell Transplant Patient’s Ability To Achieve CR

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I thought this was interesting... A short but technical abstract from Spain:Published online 30 September 2010(Haematologica 2010, 10.3324/haematol.2010.030882)Copyright © 2010 by Ferrata Storti Foundation Articles by Fernandez de Larrea, C. Articles by Blade, J. Emergence of oligoclonal bands in patients with multiple myeloma in complete remission after induction chemotherapy: association with the use of novel

18 09, 2010

The MMRF & IMF Need To Remember Who They Represent–The Patient–Not The Drug Companies

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I had already written part of today's article. But after reading this comment from Nick in California, defending the MMRF, I decided to go in a different direction:Nick said... Hmm...not sure what to make of this, to be honest with you! :)While the MMRF doesn't necessarily agree with the approach that my oncologist takes, I

13 09, 2010

Gains In African American Multiple Myeloma Survival Rate Slows After 2005

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I have commented about racial disparities many times before. Here is another study with states the obvious:Racial disparities in incidence and outcome in multiple myeloma: a population-based study.Blood. 2010 Authors: Waxman AJ, Mink PJ, Devesa SS, Anderson WF, Weiss BM, Kristinsson SY, McGlynn KA, Landgren OMultiple myeloma (MM) is the most common hematologic malignancy in

8 09, 2010

The Complicated, Interdependent World Of Multiple Myeloma Research Foundations, Pharmaceutical Companies & The Rising Cost Of Chemotherapy Drugs

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As promised, today I would like to take a look at how a drug like thalidomide, which was first created and distributed over forty years ago, could still be controlled by drug maker Celgene.Why isn't this very expensive anti-myeloma drug available in generic form?The answer to the last question is simple. It is sold in

3 09, 2010

Rumors and conspiracy theories involving Celgene, Thalomid, Revlimid and Pomalidomide

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Rumors and conspiracy theories involving cancer drug companies like Celgene, makers of Thalomid, Revlimd and Actimid (pomalidomide, originally labeled CC-4047), are not uncommon among multiple myeloma patients--especially when you add the "wild, wild west" of the "anything goes" Internet to the mix.Sorry--I just don't buy into the big cancer related conspiracy theories. You know, the

2 09, 2010

More About Generic Challenge To Anti-Multiple Myeloma Oral Chemotherapy Drug, Revlimid, Using FDA’s Abbreviated New Drug Application Process

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Yesterday I had a little fun with the "what if" game. What if there was a generic form of Revlimid? How would that affect patients and future drug development if all of those long term profits were lost? My article was inspired by this news: Celgene Corporation today announced that information was posted on the