In 2011, Diane Dike, PhD, lost her mother to complications from multiple myeloma — a cancer of the bone marrow involving plasma cells. The pair were always close, and even share the same birthday: October 23. The illness and death of her mother was extremely difficult for the whole family, Dike says. One of the most … Continued
Many of the immunotherapy drugs that are transforming the treatment of certain types of cancer are based on antibodies — artificial proteins that latch onto a molecular target, called an antigen. Bispecific antibodies, which can bind to two antigens at the same time, are being tested and moving toward clinical use in some blood cancers. … Continued
The process of converting genetic information from DNA to RNA, known as transcription, is a joint undertaking. Sections of DNA, known as promoters, collaborate with other sections known as enhancers to recast the genetic code into a form that can be used by cells to make proteins. As with many partnerships, however, it hasn’t been … Continued
Russ Horn went to work every day as a firefighter for almost 30 years. But now he has a new job—one that takes the same courage, hard work, and perseverance required in his last role. In 2014, Horn, then 50, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma—a cancer of plasma cells—after a minor slip at work sent … Continued
As father and daughter, there are many things Dennis Gorden and Becky Nutley share: a contagious smile, the instinct to help others, and a commitment to family, to name a few. But one thing they never imagined they would have in common was a cancer diagnosis. In 2014, routine blood work revealed that Becky Nutley, … Continued
As new treatments for multiple myeloma have extended patient survival—from an average of three years to more than 10 in some cases—physicians and researchers face a new challenge: how to predict a drug’s long-term effectiveness? How to tell, early on, whether one drug is likely to extend patients’ lives more than another? At Dana-Farber’s Jerome Lipper … Continued
A study by Dana-Farber scientists and an international team of researchers could lead to better treatments for patients with smoldering multiple myeloma, a condition that often precedes myeloma.
Advances against multiple myeloma have come at an especially rapid pace, with 10 new therapies approved in just the last 10 years. As a group, their impact “is greater than anything we’ve seen in myeloma,” says Nikhil Munshi, MD, director of Basic and Correlative Science at Dana-Farber’s Jerome Lipper Center for Multiple Myeloma.
A year ago, Kelly Lamphere’s multiple myeloma was not responding to treatment, and her legs were so weakened by the cancer in her bones that she relied on a wheelchair and a walker. Today, because of CAR T-cell therapy, Lamphere’s disease is under control—and she can walk unaided again.
Assessing a multiple myeloma patient’s predicted outcome and risk through genetic analysis can enable tailored treatment for individual patients.
Minimal residual disease negativity – or MRD negativity – is a highly sensitive measure of the effectiveness of therapy for multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells of the bone marrow.
“A caregiver and a patient are a team, like a coach and a quarterback,” says caregiver Deb Osborne. “You do a lot of work strategizing together beforehand, and then as the coach you send your quarterback into the action.
People diagnosed with precursor conditions that often lead to multiple myeloma currently have little way of gauging their risk of myeloma or knowing when, if ever, the disease might progress.
CAR T-cell therapy is a cancer treatment in which a patient’s immune system T cells are genetically modified to mount a more effective attack on cancer. As of May 2018, CAR T-cell therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as standard therapy for some adult patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has relapsed after … Continued
Thanks to major advances in treatment in recent years, patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma today have a much greater life expectancy, even though the blood cancer isn’t curable. It’s possible to think of myeloma – a malignancy affecting antibody-producing immune cells – as a chronic disease with which some individuals can live for many years. … Continued
When Linda Solomon, a trained medical technologist, saw the results of her routine complete blood count in 2009, she knew it wasn’t good news. Solomon, then 61, was diagnosed with stage III multiple myeloma – and given three years to survive. Several rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, and eight years later, Solomon is … Continued
A stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving treatment for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or certain blood-related disorders. In many cases, however, transplants increase patients’ risk for an array of long-term health problems, often caused by the high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy used prior to the transplant. Dana-Farber’s Adult Stem Cell Survivorship … Continued
Treatment of blood-related, or hematologic, cancers is seizing on insights into the basic genetic wiring of cancer cells and the body’s system for finding and attacking those cells. Research presentations at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in December gave evidence of how broad, and rapid, the progress is. Targeted therapies, new combinations … Continued
In a recent Facebook Live webchat, Jacob Laubach, MD, MPP, Clinical Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, discussed the different ways that patients can be treated with multiple myeloma, as well as exciting avenues of treatment, such as combination therapy.
Multiple myeloma, also called Kahler’s disease, is a type of cancer that begins in plasma cells – white blood cells that produce antibodies. Plasma cells usually work in the body’s immune defense system and help produce antibodies. In cases of multiple myeloma, however, too many plasma cells build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in many … Continued