Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

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Berenson – Low-Dose Approach for Myeloma?

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Multiple myeloma specialists (berenson oncology) work in conjunction with local physicians, Rossi emphasizes, so patients can receive most of their care near home.

Hi Cancer Coach-  My question is about Multiple Myeloma chemo treatment after remission-low-dose maintenance chemotherapy. If I understand correctly, you are a long-term myeloma survivor.  Do you still receive conventional treatment on a monthly basis?

My wife is currently in treatment under Dr. James Berenson in West Hollywood.  Her M-protein levels have gone from 3800 to 0.  Dr. Berenson has indicated that once she goes on maintenance she will still get steroids and velcade twice a month probably for life.

Knowing chemo compromises the immune system I would like to know your thoughts. Walter

Hi Walter,

Several things. No I don’t undergo conventional therapies monthly. I have been in CR since 1999 and haven’t undergone any toxic therapies since then. Secondly, I consider Dr. Berenson to be the one MM specialist that I know of who balances quantity of life with quality of life by treating his MM patients with low doses of toxic therapies. By this I mean that toxic therapies often cause debilitating short, long-term and late stage collateral damage. While I acknowledge that MMers may need to control they disease with toxic therapies, I think the best way to do this is to administer as low a dose of chemotherapy as possible in order to control the myeloma. Dr. Berenson is good at doing this as far as I know.
As an aside, m-spike/m-protein values are usually in the range of 3-10. My guess is that a value like “3800” is a freelight chain or different blood marker of some sort. The important thing is that this number was out of range but now is 0…
 I am glad to see that your wife has achieved complete remission.
Lastly, as the study linked and excerpted below explains:
  • Long-term low dose maintenance therapy has been shown to increase overall survival (OS)-
  • Each MMer reacts to toxic therapies differently so I believe that toxic therapies must be minimized as much as possible-
  • I believe that MMers should live as anti-MM a life as possible while they are undergoing maintenance therapy including anti-MM nutrition, anti-MM supplementation, evidence-based therapies that enhance Velcade, etc. (both Velcade and Dex. can be low-dose-)

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

Let me know if you have any other questions or if you would like to learn more about nutrition, supplementation, integrative therapies, etc.
Hang in there,
David Emerson
  • Myeloma Survivor
  • Myeloma Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Dr. James Berenson M.D. Berenson Oncology

See a Specialist-

For patients with suspected multiple myeloma, it makes sense to see a specialist who is familiar with the condition to confirm the diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

“The important thing is to get an accurate diagnosis,” Rossi says. “And it’s always helpful to get an opinion from a specialized center, because general oncologists in the community may not see a lot of myeloma.”

With rapid advances in research, emerging therapies and continually evolving approaches to treating multiple myeloma, getting a second opinion at a specialized center is worthwhile.

“It is a very good time for the field,” Rossi says. “We’ve had a number of drug approvals with more emerging in the next year or two. Survival has quadrupled since 2005, which is just wonderful and hopeful. But every year we change the guidelines and the rules, and we have different ways of approaching things.”

Multiple myeloma specialists work in conjunction with local physicians, Rossi emphasizes, so patients can receive most of their care near home.

The role of maintenance therapy in multiple myeloma

“Specifically, controversy surrounds the optimal use and duration of maintenance therapy. We conducted a comprehensive literature search to analyze the most current literature and to provide recommendations for maintenance therapy in multiple myeloma…

Maintenance therapy aims to extend the period of disease quiescence through continued treatment and to thereby extend progression-free survival (PFS) and OS.6 Because the treatment is administered for a prolonged period of time, particular emphasis is placed on the tolerability and toxicity of maintenance therapy...

With the rapid changes in MM therapy, our goal with this review is to analyze the current literature and provide recommendations for maintenance therapy in MM, primarily with lenalidomide and bortezomib…

Among the trials, bortezomib and lenalidomide were used with different dosing, frequency and combination strategies amongst different studies making comparisons difficult and limiting the strength of any single recommendation. Despite the variability, there is strong evidence to suggest that maintenance therapy improves PFS. Data regarding OS is more variable, but at least three trials suggest improved OS with maintenance therapy.22, 27, 31 Other major considerations of maintenance therapy revolve around concerns for toxicity including second malignancies, optimal duration of therapy and selection of agent specifically with regard to depth of response and disease risk stratification, and cost of therapy…”



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