Bisphosphonates may prevent bone metastasizes in Breast Cancer, study finds

Upon diagnosis, regardless  of stage I think, Bishosphonate therapy, bone strengthening drugs, is standard therapy for my cancer, multiple myeloma. Myeloma causes all sorts of bone damage and strengthening one’s bones is important therapy for mmers.

Over the past year or so I have been reading studies that discuss the idea that bisphophonate therapy may actually prevent bone metastases in cancer. The studies I’ve read talk only about breast and prostate cancer but my thinking is that the idea of protecting the bones of all cancer patients (beyond breast and prostate cancers) against the prospect of bone mets seems logical.

The study linked an excerpted below actually cites a specific enzyme in ER negative breast cancer patients that “enhances” the spread of the disease aka bone mets and that blocking the activity of this enzyme will “prevent bone damage and the spread of tumor cells to the bone (metastasis), halting the progression of the disease…”

Bishphosphonate therapy coupled with supplementation, nutrition and exercise could prove a formidable therapy to slow or even stop breast cancer.

To learn more about those therapies that are proven to strengthen bones in cancer patients, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Scientists identify key to preventing secondary cancers

“Breast cancer is a disease that commonly spreads to other areas of the body; the most common site for the disease to spread is the bone. Leading scientists have identified a possible key to preventing secondary cancers in breast cancer patients, after discovering an enzyme that enhances the spread of the disease. They also report that an existing class of drugs for osteoporosis could stop the spread of the disease

The findings suggest that identifying LOX in estrogen receptor negative (ER negative) breast cancer patients early, could allow doctors to block the enzyme’s activity, preventing bone damage and the spread of tumor cells to the bone (metastasis), halting the progression of the disease.

The researchers also showed that treatment with bisphosphonate, an existing class of drug which prevents the loss of bone mass and is already used to treat diseases such as osteoporosis, was able to prevent the changes in the bone and the spread of the disease in mice….”

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with: ,

Pay-for-performance is the cure for cancer drugs that don’t work for cancer patients-

To paraphrase Woody Hayes several things can happen when you take chemo and most of them are bad. The problem is you pay for that chemo drug regardless.

Depending on what study you are reading, a cancer therapy it is estimated to work between 25% and 50% of the time. Combination chemotherapy cocktails work more often. Yet if my onc tells me that a chemotherapy theoretically may work for me, provided my health insurance covers most of the cost of the drug, I will pay almost anything to test the “theory.”

Most cancer patients will.

To add insult to injury, not only did my chemotherapies not work (10 months of partial remission) I have lived a life of slowly worsening side effects since my autologus stem cell transplant back in ’95.  Even when a chemotherapy causes your tumor burden to shrink, depending on your stage at diagnosis, your cancer usually relapses.

The solution?

Pay-for-performance. Piece workers do it, commissioned salespeople do it, why not cancer patients? Of the examples of pay-for-performance drug therapies below, my favorite is Ampyra, made by Acorda Therapeutics.

I have extensive nerve damage that makes me walk like I have MS. In my fantasy I would get to use Ampyra free for two months and if I walked better I would pay $21,000 a year. I would pay almost anything to walk better…

To learn more about integrative therapies to enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy while reducing its toxicity, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

New Push Ties Cost of Drugs to How Well They Work

Express Scripts Holding Co. , a large manager of prescription-drug benefits for U.S. employers and insurers, is seeking deals with pharmaceutical companies that would set pricing for some cancer drugs based on how well they work…

The effort is part of a growing push for so-called pay-for-performance deals amid complaints about the rising price of medications, some of which cost more than $100,000 per patient a year..

If pharma is truly sincere about wanting value-based reimbursement, we now have the sophistication to do that.”

One example is Bluebird Bio Inc., which is developing an experimental gene therapy for rare diseases. At a health-care conference in February, Chief Executive Nick Leschly said that if the therapy makes it to market, he would consider asking insurers to make an upfront payment to cover costs and risk of development, plus additional ongoing payments if it works for a patient

Other drug makers are trying different models. Since 2011, Acorda Therapeutics Inc. has provided its drug Ampyra, which can help multiple-sclerosis patients improve their walking, free for the first two months.

The reason: Studies have shown it only works in about 40% of patients, but there is no way to predict before starting therapy who will benefit. The two-months free program gives patients time to figure out if the drug is working—they usually know within several weeks, says Acorda Chief Executive Ron Cohen. If the drug works, the company begins charging the regular price, or about $21,000 a year per patient…

 

 

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with:

Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Cancer- cheap, effective therapy for all 3?

I read so many studies and articles about cancer- prevention, mortality and survival, that I can’t help but notice studies that identify therapies for preventing other common chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Maybe its just me but it seems like there is a growing number of studies/articles that include multiple chronic diseases. When I read the words “sugar” and “exercise” as therapies for diabetes, alzheimer’s and cancer you have to wonder what chronic diseases have in common.

Exercise is one of the therapies that is common to diabetes, alzheimer’s and cancer. Moderate, regular exercise like taking a brisk walk daily, is one of the common evidence-based therapies to prevent chronic disease.

Yes, there are other therapies common to the prevention and management of these chronic diseases as well. Therapies like supplementation (curcumin, green tea extract, resveritrol, etc.) and diet. But that’s another blog post.

To learn more about non-conventional therapies for cancer, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Diabetes May Be a Risk Factor for Developing Alzheimer’s, Studies Find

“Two recent studies show blood-sugar levels can affect the brain—-adding new evidence that diabetes might be a significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia…

For people with Type 2 diabetes, exercise represents a promising way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.. Exercise directs the body to more efficiently metabolize insulin. Insulin also is thought to help protect the brain against amyloid and improve connectivity between neurons and memory formation, she says.”

Exercise and Cancer-

“That’s right. More effective than chemo, more effective than radiation. The many studies linked below show that exercise can both reduce your risk of cancer in the first place as well as reduce your risk of relapse if you are

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with:

Spirituality, religiosity as mind-body therapy increases quality of life of cancer patients

You’ve been diagnosed with cancer. You are facing a host of therapies proposed by your oncologist. These therapies are offered to enhance both your quantity of life as well as your quality of life, right? Surgery, chemotherapy and or radiation have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the “standard-of-care” to treat your cancer.

What about spirituality/religiosity? As the study linked and excerpted below cites, “patients with high religiosity and high spirituality had better physical health overall… compared with low spiritual and low religious patients.”

In my case a cancer diagnosis  made me more spiritual. As the article says “A diagnosis of cancer is life changing and prompts patients to ask questions to increase an understanding of not only the medical aspects of their illness, but also an understanding of the broader implications cancer imposes on their life moving forward…”

As a long-term cancer survivor I can assure you that cancer forced me to “ask questions” and work to increase my understanding of the broader implications cancer “imposed” (that’s putting it nicely) on my life moving forward.

Please consider thinking beyond what conventional oncology offers as therapies for your cancer care.

For more information about the full spectrum of cancer therapies for your cancer, stage and situation, please scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Spirituality, religiosity increased quality of life among patients with cancer

“Among patients with cancer, having a high sense of spirituality and/or religiosity increased mental health quality of life, according to data presented at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting…

A diagnosis of cancer is life changing and prompts patients to ask questions to increase an understanding of not only the medical aspects of their illness, but also an understanding of the broader implications cancer imposes on their life moving forward,”

Spirituality and religiosity have been shown to be independently associated with physical and mental quality of life, according to Cannon. However, medical teams pay little attention is paid to spiritual or religious needs of patients.

Researchers found that patients with high religiosity and high spirituality had better physical health overall and significantly higher mental health composite scores (P < .0001) compared with low spiritual and low religious patients.

“The findings of this study illustrate that health care providers are in a unique position to not only address cancer as an illness but also address the existential question imposed by cancers, thereby helping patients lead more rich and fulfilling lives despite a difficult medical diagnosis and prognosis,”

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with: ,

Omega-3 fatty acids (aka fish oil) kills multiple myeloma and enhances Velcade

I underwent antineoplaston therapy (ANP) from 11/97-4/99. I went from terminal myeloma to cancer-free. I’ve often wondered if I would relapse. After all, myeloma always comes back.

I’m writing this on 5/20/15. I’ve never relapsed. I read studies like the one linked and excerpted below and I wonder if my supplementation keeps me in complete remission from my multiple myeloma.

There are similar studies on PBC that cite the myeloma killing action of curcumin, reseveritrol and other non-toxic supplements. I supplement with fish oil, curcumin and resveritrol among others.

You have to wonder why I have never relapsed…

For more information about anti-myeloma therapies like fish oil, curcumin and resveritrol, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA induce apoptosis and enhance drug sensitivity in multiple myeloma cells but not in normal peripheral mononuclear cells.

“Human myeloma cells (L363, OPM-1, OPM-2 and U266) and normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells were exposed to EPA and DHA, and effects on mitochondrial function and apoptosis, caspase-3 activation, gene expression and drug toxicity were measured.

Exposure to EPA and DHA induced apoptosis and increased sensitivity to bortezomib in MM cells.

EPA and DHA inhibited NFκB activity and induced apoptosis through mitochondrial perturbation and caspase-3 activation. Our study suggests that EPA and DHA induce selective cytotoxic effects in MM and increase sensitivity to bortezomib and calls for further exploration into a potential application of these n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the therapy of MM.”

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, non-conventional therapies Tagged with: ,

Eliminate overtreatment in early stage Hodgkin lymphoma

This clinical trial hit home for me. My cancer is multiple myeloma not Hodgkins lymphoma but I live with the damage created by ineffective radiation. The fact is that there is a great deal of both chemotherapy and radiation given to cancer patients of all kinds that is needless or overtreatment.

There are a growing number of diagnostic tests that can give information to the patient/oncologist to better decide if more therapy is needed. In effect these tests take a “less is more” approach to cancer therapy.

Would you prefer radiation that, as the article states “marginally reduces the recurrence rate” yet causes collateral damage or would you prefer a diagnostic test that gives you and you onc information about your status?

To learn about other less is more therapies to lymphoma, breast cancer, other cancers, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Cancer scan could remove need for radiotherapy in cured patients

“The current standard treatment is for all Hodgkin lymphoma patients to receive chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy. However, this radiotherapy comes with undesirable late effects, such as cardiovascular disease and other cancers. These occur despite the fact that patients have already been cured of Hodgkin lymphoma…

After 3 years of regular check-ups, the proportion of patients who were alive and free of disease was 94.6% in the radiotherapy group, and 90.8% in the group that had not received further treatment.

“This research is an important step forward. The results of RAPID show that in early stage Hodgkin lymphoma radiotherapy after initial chemotherapy marginally reduces the recurrence rate, but this is bought at the expense of exposing to radiation all patients with negative PET findings, most of whom are already cured…

Radiotherapy can cause a range of long-term problems like heart disease and hard-to-treat second cancers. As many Hodgkin lymphoma patients are relatively young, it is particularly important to avoid using intensive treatment when it is unnecessary.”

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with: ,

Pediatric Cancer collateral damage- “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…”

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1994 at the age of 34 I became an old AYA cancer patient. Living well beyond the 3-5 year average life-expectancy I have become all too familiar with long-term and late stage side effects of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.

I’m writing this blog post because I am convinced that I could have either minimized or prevented many if not all of my side effects had I known about them before my therapy. Sure, it’s easy to Monday-morning quarter back but I can draw from both personal experience and combine this with evidence-bases studies. For example it is well-known that CoQ10 supplementation during heart damaging chemotherapy administration (vincristine, herceptin, etc.) will reduce or eliminate chemo-induced heart damage.

To learn more about pediatric cancer side effects and how to prevent them, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

 

  1. Childhood cancer survivors more likely to claim social security support as adults
  2. Survivors of childhood cancer at risk for developing hormone deficiencies as adults
  3. Certain treatments for childhood cancer may increase obesity risk later in life
  4. Long-term survival among patients with most common childhood brain tumor is high; lower if treatment included radiation
  5. Elevated morbidity long-lasting for childhood cancer survivors
  6. Second neoplasms in survivors of childhood cancer: findings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort.
  7. Almost one in five young children with cancer suffers from a trauma disorder
  8. MRI detects early damage to chemotherapy child hearts
Posted in non-conventional therapies, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with:

Can bisphosphonates PREVENT bone mets for early Breast Cancer simplifying treatment?

The three most dreaded words in the English language are “you have cancer.” These words are only slightly more difficult to hear than “your cancer is metastatic” meaning that your cancer has spread and therefore is more advanced and difficult to treat.

While breast cancer can metastasize to any organ, it spreads to the bones most commonly.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as important as the original cancer diagnosis is a) whether or not your cancer has spread to your bones and b) what are the chances that your cancer will spread to your bones?

As the two articles linked and excerpted below indicate:

1) “…if the tumour has metastasised, the disease (Breast Cancer) remains essentially incurable.”

2) “Treatment with bisphosphonates in women with breast cancer and established bone metastasis delays further skeletal-related events…”

3) “Research findings from Lund University in Sweden now provide new hope for a way of detecting metastases significantly earlier than is currently possible.”

If you have been diagnosed with early breast cancer you may want to take the blood test discussed below to learn your risks of relapse and your risks for your cancer metastasizing to your bones.

To learn more about breast cancer therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

A blood test for early detection of breast cancer metastasis

“Research findings from Lund University in Sweden now provide new hope for a way of detecting metastases significantly earlier than is currently possible

The chances of being cured of have increased in recent decades, however if the tumour has metastasised, the disease remains essentially incurable. One reason for this could be that the metastases are detected late, after they have grown enough to cause symptoms or be seen on a radiological scan. If they could be found sooner, it might be possible to treat the new tumours…

“For 19 of the 20 women, the ctDNA in the blood samples gave a clear indication of how things would turn out. The women who never got a relapse had no detectable ctDNA, whereas all women who had tumour DNA in their blood eventually had symptomatic relapses that were diagnosed in the clinic”, said Lao Saal…

In addition to the possibility of treating the women who are about to get , the a potential future use of the new method could be to determine which women do not need to be treated so aggressively. If we know that women with no ctDNA in their blood are not going to get a relapse, less aggressive treatment could be sufficient in their case…”

Effect of Oral Bisphosphonates for Osteoporosis on Development of Skeletal Metastases in Women With Breast Cancer

Background Treatment with bisphosphonates in women with breast cancer and established bone metastasis delays further skeletal-related events. Evidence is emerging that bisphosphonates are beneficial for secondary prevention of bone metastasis

The study aimed to estimate the effect of oral bisphosphonates for treatment or prevention of osteoporosis on development of bone metastasis in a population of women with breast cancer

Results Taking bisphosphonates postdiagnosis of breast cancer only or continuing bisphosphonates started prior to diagnosis after diagnosis was associated with a reduction in risk of bone metastasis from 45% to 28% in women with local disease at diagnosis. In women with regional disease, postdiagnosis bisphosphonate use, with or without prediagnosis use, reduced risk by almost 50%. A statistically significant dose-response trend was observed relating increased use to lower risk (slope = 0.94, 95% confidence interval = 0.90 to 0.99). Bisphosphonates were also associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality similar to that of the development of bone metastasis.

Conclusion Low-dose oral bisphosphonates administered for prevention or treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis were associated with lower risk of skeletal metastasis in patients with early- or more advanced-stage breast cancer.”

Bisphosphonates: prevention of bone metastases in breast cancer.

  • Disease recurrence and distant metastases remain challenging for patients with breast cancer…
  • Bone is the most common site for breast cancer metastasis, and the bone microenvironment plays a crucial role in harboring disseminated tumor cells (DTCs)…
  • Therefore, agents that affect bone metabolism might not only prevent the development of bone lesions but also provide meaningful reductions in the risk of relapse both in bone and beyond…

 

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with:

Lung Cancer and bisphosphonate bone therapies-

One of the strengths of PeopleBeatingCancer is that we take a wide view of cancer research and management. I first became aware of the critical importance of bone health when I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2/94.

My single plasmacytoma (early mm) had eaten through my fifth cervical vertebra- a real pain in the neck. Sorry…

I began bone strengthening therapy almost immediately.  Bone health remains a priority for me to this day (5/18/15).

Bone strengthening therapy is standard-of-care for mmers. And as far as I can see from my perspective as a cancer blogger, bone therapy should be a priority for ALL cancer patients. As early in the process as possible.

Since learning about the importance of bone health as a myeloma patient I have learned about bone health for many cancers. The study below talks about “skeletal-related events” in lung cancer but there are similar articles and studies on PBC citing the importance of bone health in myeloma, breast and prostate cancers as well.

To learn more about managing bone health for cancer patients and survivors, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Bone-targeted agents in the treatment of lung cancer

Over a third of patients with lung cancer will develop bone metastases during the course of their disease, resulting in symptoms of pain and immobility, and skeletal-related events (SREs) such as fracture, hypercalcaemia, surgery or radiotherapy to bones, and malignant spinal cord compression.

These reduce quality of life and increase mortality.

Preclinical research has identified the interactions between tumour cells and bone that are key to tumour cell survival and associated osteolysis. These data have led to the development of drugs to prevent osteoclast-mediated bone breakdown, such as zoledronic acid and denosumab, which are now licensed for use in patients with bone metastases from solid tumours. Both zoledronic acid and denosumab reduce the risk of SREs and increase time to first SRE, with minimal side effects.

In addition, denosumab improved survival in patients with lung cancer compared with zoledronic acid. Ongoing trials are testing whether these drugs can prevent the development of bone metastases from lung cancer. New bone-targeted agents showing promise in breast and prostate cancer include radium-223, cabozantinib and Src inhibitors. These agents require further evaluation in patients with lung cancer.

Posted in Newly Diagnosed, non-conventional therapies, side effects ID and prevention Tagged with:

Breast Cancer Survivors and Weight Lifting… Who knew?

I still say that cancer survivors must alternate between cardio (brisk walking, elliptical, etc.) and weight lifting. But the study linked and excerpted below compares weight lifting to “standard-of-care” whatever that is.

The point? Cancer survivors must exercise regularly after you complete active therapy. You will reduce your risk of relapse, feel better, maintain physical function, eat better, sleep better, everything better.

For more information about breast cancer therapies both conventional and non-conventional, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Weight lifting may reduce physical function deterioration among breast cancer survivors

“According to findings published online early in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have found that slowly progressive weight lifting compared with standard of care reduced the incidence of physical function deterioration among breast cancer survivors…

he researchers note that future studies should compare efficacy of weight lifting with other exercises, such as brisk walking, in order to develop a confirmatory study aimed at identifying the best approach to preserving physical function among breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer survivors may experience physical function deterioration, which may lead to bone fracture, disability, injurious falls, and premature death…”

 

 

Posted in Survivors Tagged with: ,

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