Articles tagged with: Physician Column

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[ by | Jul 13, 2012 11:43 am | 15 Comments ]
To Maintain Or Not To Maintain – That Is The Question!

Currently, there are three major controversies in multiple myeloma patient management: early versus late transplant, treat or observe ‘high-risk’ smoldering myeloma, and whether to use maintenance therapy. The latter is predominantly an issue following autologous stem cell transplantation.

In May, one of the world’s premier medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, published three articles about clinical trials comparing Revlimid (lenalidomide) maintenance versus observation.  In two of the studies, Revlimid maintenance was given following autologous stem cell transplantation.  In the third study, Revlimid maintenance was given following conventional …

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[ by | Mar 1, 2012 1:29 pm | 15 Comments ]
Understanding Prognosis In Multiple Myeloma

One of the most difficult questions in oncology is: “How long do I have to live?”

Patients often bring this up to their physicians following a diagnosis of cancer, and periodically during the course of their disease.

Of course, this is an impossible question to answer because we as physicians can seldom predict what the future holds for a particular patient. We can prob­a­bly estimate averages, but no patient is average; everyone is unique. Faced with this dilemma, each physician responds differently. Some provide the averages, some don’t.

Nevertheless, it …

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[ by | Oct 21, 2011 12:18 pm | 14 Comments ]
Nonsecretory Multiple Myeloma

Nonsecretory myeloma is a topic shrouded in apprehension and mystery.

Patients with nonsecretory myeloma have a host of questions.  How do I track the progress of my disease? Should nonsecretory myeloma be treated differently than “standard” myeloma?  Is my prognosis different because I am nonsecretory?

Among myeloma patients with secretory disease, nonsecretory myeloma is something they often have heard of, but they are not always sure what it is, or whether it is really relevant to them.

Given the many questions and concerns related to nonsecretory myeloma, I thought I …

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[ by | Sep 23, 2011 3:46 pm | 4 Comments ]
Recent Advances In The Treatment Of Myeloma Bone Disease

Multiple myeloma is the most frequent cancer to involve the skeleton, with up to 80 percent of patients having bone disease. Although fewer patients appear to have bone involvement more recently, it is still a major source of both complications and death among patients with myeloma.

Bone disease is so severe in myeloma because the normal bone remodeling process is disrupted. In normal individuals, damaged bone is removed by bone-destroying cells, the osteoclasts, and then bone is replaced by bone-forming cells, the osteoblasts. In myeloma, the number and activity of …

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[ by | Aug 12, 2011 3:19 pm | 5 Comments ]
Treating Multiple Myeloma Patients: Optimizing Response While Minimizing Side Effects

Novel agents, such as Velcade (bortezomib) and Revlimid (lenalidomide), have greatly advanced the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. Indeed, by incorporating novel agents as induction therapy prior to consolidation with high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, we have made huge strides in survival outcomes over the last 10 years.  However, treatment with anti-myeloma agents may be associated with side effects that negatively impact quality of life.

Recently, two advances have been reported resulting in a decrease in peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage causing pain, numbness, and/or tingling …

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