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1 06, 2015

Kyprolis may soon be infused once a week

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Kyprolis is a new, FDA approved proteasome inhibitor, similar to Velcade.  Early on, doctors learned that administering Velcade once weekly worked as well as the FDA approved twice weekly dosing.  Now Amgen, new owners of Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Kyprolis, have initiated a large clinical trial to try and prove the same for Kyprolis. Let's face

3 03, 2015

Kyprolis “superior” to Velcade?

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There has been a surprising amount of myeloma related news lately; the FDA's approval of panobinostat last week, and now the early release of data apparently showing that Kyprolis helps keep a relapsed patient's myeloma at bay longer than Velcade. My friends at Onyx (now part of Amgen) forwarded me the release announcing the news

10 08, 2014

Velcade stopped working? Consider trying it again later

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On the surface this doesn't seem like big news.  But grind-it-out studies like these are important.  They help medical oncologists that aren't going to experiment off-label know what to do after a patient relapses. Here's Millennium Pharmaceutical's press release about it: FDA Approves VELCADE® (bortezomib) Retreatment in Patients with Multiple Myeloma  August 8, 2014 CAMBRIDGE,

5 06, 2014

Tomorrow’s Mayo Clinic visit is “the combo platter; the whole enchilada”

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No ASCO blockbusters.  Some significant data was presented.  But as I mentioned yesterday, nothing time sensitive.  So today I would like to write briefly about what could be a life changing meeting tomorrow at Mayo Clinic. OK, I'll admit it.  I'm apprehensive about my appointment with my new myeloma specialist, Dr. Roy.  My first impressions

29 05, 2014

Truck loaded and on our way!

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As I mentioned in a post on May 21, we have planned three moving days.  The first was a preliminary move to get needed tools, bedding and that sort of thing over to the new "fixer" on Fernandina Beach.  Today's is "the big one;" three strong guys and a big truck. And the third?  My

28 03, 2014

Great news! RVD is working again!

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It's an awesome Friday morning!  I'm both delighted and relieved.  Delighted that our University of Wisconsin basketball team won again last night, advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight; the Badgers play Arizona Saturday to see which team will advance to the Final Four.  And I'm relieved to report even better news: I learned yesterday

18 02, 2014

Ever used Velcade? Earn $100 by completing phone survey

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A national research firm is looking for patients that have used--or are using--Velcade.   Anyone who is interviewed will receive a $100 Visa gift card. The purpose of this study is to gather opinions of patients living with multiple myeloma.   The only other requirement is that you haven't had a stem cell transplant. Participation in

24 01, 2014

Even experienced myeloma survivors have bad days

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Sometimes our bodies don't react to medications the way we have come to expect.  Yesterday was an unsettling and unpleasant reminder of that. Last week I received some pretty good news.  My monoclonal protein level--measured by my M-spike--remained stable.  Wednesday I saw my medical oncologist, Dr. Malhotra, then continued on to infusion for my sub-q

23 01, 2014

Hope for a cure: Tom’s allo transplant journey (Part Six)

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Congratulations, Tom!  Donor stem cells were infused yesterday.  Tom is part of a groundbreaking study where Velcade is used before, during and/or after transplant to help reduce graft/host disease (GVHD). My myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina, is spearheading this probe into how and why Velcade seems to significantly block GVHD.  She recently told me that

10 11, 2013

New study proves acupuncture helps control Velcade induced PN

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Suffering from uncomfortable or painful peripheral neuropathy (PN) caused by using Velcade (bortezomib)?  Very little research has been done on drug induced PN; it's mostly focused on diabetic neuropathy, which encompasses a much larger patient subset.  Good news!  Check out excerpts from a helpful article on Medscape's website on the subject: Acupuncture Reduces Neuropathy Associated

31 10, 2013

When it comes to myeloma, two heads are better than one!

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I met with my medical oncologist, Dr. Vikas Malhotra, for the first time since last month's relapse today.  He reviewed my test results, including the MRI of my left hip.  It reminded me why working together as a team is so important. I felt that Dr. Malhotra and his physicians assistant, Ann, made some innovative

13 10, 2013

Panobinostat helps 50% of relapsed patients in new Dana-Farber study

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When I first started covering multiple myeloma news five years ago, an experimental drug, panobinostat, was one of the first to catch my eye.  But after a hot start, "pan" was overshadowed by carfilzomib (Kyprolis) and pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and seemingly disappeared.  I'm pleased to report that panobinostat may be making a comeback. In an article

8 10, 2013

Myeloma News and Views: proteasome inhibitors

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Big news in the myeloma world last week.  Onyx, the company that developed and manufactures the newly FDA approved proteasome inhibitor, Kyprolis (carfilzomib), was purchased by Amgen for a whopping 9.7 billion dollars. If you would like details, I ran a press release about it on our sister site,, October 1st: I wrote

3 09, 2013

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

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March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.  Do we really need another?  Read this and you tell me! As I greeted support group members arriving before last month's meeting, an older couple that I didn't recognize introduced themselves and headed inside.  "We saw the announcement in the paper." The woman proudly announced loudly. "Are you the