What I wish I knew about Multiple Myeloma treatments 25 years later...

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Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Ages Multiple Myeloma

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What does “the finding that stem cell transplant accelerates aspects of aging” mean for the long-term Multiple Myeloma Survivor?

According to the article linked and excertped below, during the month of December in 1995, I aged 30 years in 21 days. I went from a 35 year old to a 65 five year old. They say that age is only a number, right? I was told that I had an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. My oncologist recommended an ASCT. Frankly if Dr. Berger had recommended jumping off the Terminal Tower as therapy I would have done it.

While just about everyone under the age of 70 who is diagnosed with multiple myeloma is told that they should have an autologous stem cell transplant, a growing number of myeloma specialists are questioning the pros/cons of transplants.

The remission from my ASCT lasted 10 months. It is clear that autologous stem cell transplants have improved since ’95. A small but significant number of MMers have enjoyed long remissions from ASCT’s. And a 65 year old myeloma patient might not care if he/she ages by 30 years after the ASCT. But an ASCT is not curative and every MMer will relapse eventually.

Almost four years of conventional therapies after my diagnosis led to two remissions, two relapses and “there is nothing more we can do for you. ” My oncologist told me that back in 9/97. An evidence-based but non-conventional therapy put me into complete remission in early 1999 where I remain today (10/18).

I have remained in complete remission since ’99 by living an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM lifestyle. While I live with many long-term side effects from my toxic therapies long ago, I think my immune system is working well.

I encourage MM coaching clients to live an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM lifestyle through nutrition, supplementation, bone-health, lifestyle and mind-body therapies.  The Multiple Myeloma Cancer Coaching program supports aging immune systems like mine.

Please watch the video below to learn more about the evidence-based, integrative therapies to combat treatment side effects and enhance your chemotherapy.

Click here to follow along with the Introduction Guide

Click here to get your FREE First Questions Guide

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director People Beating Cancer

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Blood cancer treatment ages immune cells by 30 years, study says

“Researchers at the University of North Carolina found blood cancer patients treated with an autologous stem cell transplant showed elevated levels of expression of messenger RNA comparable to advanced aging, and at levels higher than with other stem cell transplant therapies, according to a study¬†published in the journal EBioMedicine

Stem cell transplants help extend survival time for blood cancer patients, and are delivered in one of two ways: Autologous transplants, taken from stores of a patient’s own stem cells, or allogeneic transplants, which uses stem cells from a donor…

“We know that transplant is life-prolonging, and in many cases, it’s life-saving, for many patients with blood cancers and other disorders…””At the same time, we’re increasingly recognizing that survivors of transplant are at risk for long-term health problems, and so there is interest in determining what markers may exist to help predict risk for long-term health problems, or even in helping choose which patients are best candidates for transplantation…””

Most people’s biological age, the age of their cells, is different from their age in years. Many cancer treatments carry side effects, such as fatigue, nausea and hair loss, and researchers were not surprised to find accelerated aging.

“Many oncologists would not be surprised by the finding that stem cell transplant accelerates aspects of aging,” Dr. Norman Sharpless, director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, said in a press release. “We know that years after a curative transplant, stem cell transplant survivors are at increased risk for blood problems that can occur with aging, such as reduced immunity, increased risk for bone marrow failure, and increased risk of blood cancers. What is important about this work, however, is that it allows us to quantify the effect of stem cell transplant on molecular age.”

For the study, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 63 cancer patients, 26 of whom underwent autologous transplants and 37 of who received allogeneic transplants. Most of the autologous transplant recipients had myeloma, and some also had lymphoma, while most of the allogeneic transplant recipients had leukemia. Five of the allogneneic recipients had also previous received autologous transplants.

Researchers found higher expression of mRNA coding for the p16 protein, which is expected to increase exponentially as people age chonologically, in both groups of cancer patients. In those who received an autologous transplant, however, patients had three times the p16 expression they had before transplant — a significant increase…”


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