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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Integrative Myeloma Care

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All newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients (NDMM) should think of their future therapy plans as Integrative  Myeloma Care. I say this as a long-term MM survivor who has pursued each of the therapies outlined in the article linked below.

Over the years, many, many NDMM patients have contacted me and explained that they do not want any type of chemotherapy for the treatment of their incurable blood cancer.

My response is always about the need for a small amount of toxic therapies (chemo or radiation) as well as complementary and integrative therapies. Multiple myeloma is simply too difficult a cancer to treat without at least a low dose of some type of chemo or radiation. At least this has been my experience.

For the record, I believe that the article below focuses on key modalities of integrative myeloma care though I can’t help but add modalities to this list.

What are integrative therapies for multiple myeloma?

  • Nutritional Support:
    • Dietary Adjustments: Emphasizing a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help support the immune system and overall health.
    • Nutritional Supplements: Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, may be recommended, but should be taken under medical supervision to avoid interactions with conventional treatments.
  • Physical Activity:
    • Exercise: Tailored exercise programs can help maintain strength, reduce fatigue, and improve mood. Activities like walking, yoga, and gentle stretching are often beneficial.
  • Mind-Body Techniques:
    • Meditation and Mindfulness: Practices like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and guided imagery can help reduce stress and improve emotional well-being.
    • Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine technique may help manage pain, nausea, and other side effects of multiple myeloma treatments.
  • Massage Therapy:
    • Therapeutic Massage: Can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. It’s essential to work with a therapist experienced in oncology massage to ensure safe and appropriate techniques.
  • Herbal Medicine:
    • Herbal Supplements: Some patients use herbs to support overall health, but these should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider to avoid interactions with conventional treatments.
  • Psychological Support:
    • Counseling and Support Groups: Individual therapy or participation in support groups can provide emotional support, coping strategies, and a sense of community.
  • Energy Therapies:
    • Reiki and Healing Touch: These therapies focus on balancing the body’s energy fields to promote healing and well-being.
  • Sleep Management:
    • Sleep Hygiene Practices: Establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a restful environment, and managing symptoms that interfere with sleep can improve overall quality of life.

Do not be surprised or put off if your oncologist sees little benefit in any/all of the integrative therapies mentioned above or below. Conventional oncology focuses strictly on what the Food and Drug Administration evaluates and approved for the treatment of myeloma.

Are you a newly diagnosed myeloma patient? If you would like to learn more about integrative myeloma care email me at David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Conceptualizing an Integrative Multiple Myeloma Care: The Role of Nutrition, Supplements, and Complementary Modalities

“Abstract- Multiple Myeloma (MM) is the second most prevalent hematologic malignancy, and its incidence has been increasing enormously in recent years. The prognosis of MM has changed radically with the introduction of new drugs that have improved life expectancy; recurrences are a common occurrence during the course of the disease and are characterized by an increase in refractory to treatment.

Moreover, MM patients are challenged by quality of life-related concerns while limited conventional therapy may be offered. This includes bone pain and dialysis due to the complications of acute renal failure.

We, therefore, believe that it is very important to add new treatment modalities, including

  • supplements,
  • nutritional modifications,
  • acupuncture,
  • and mind–body therapies,

with the goal of improving treatment tolerance, effectiveness, and patients’ quality of life. Moreover, many patients use some of these supplements on their own, in the hope of reducing the side effects, so it is even more important to know their action and potential.

The purpose of this review is to illustrate all these strategies potentially available to enrich our approach to this, to date, incurable disease…

2. Nutrition, Lifestyle Changes and Microbiota

3. Natural Compounds and Vitamins: Their Potential Role in the Treatment of MM

4. Acupuncture

5. Mind–Body Medicine

6. Discussion-

This narrative review aimed to identify the tools that can integrate conventional MM treatment to enhance its effectiveness and tolerability, as well as the quality of life and overall survival of patients with MM.
We have identified four fundamental pillars to build this approach:
  • nutrition,
  • acupuncture,
  • mind–body techniques,
  • and the use of supplements.
Nutrition, also through the remodeling of the microbiota, is, in our opinion and based on the available scientific literature, not only a useful tool in the preventive stage or in cases of MGUS but also an essential therapeutic tool to meet patients’ unmet needs.
Many mechanisms are involved in food’s effects, such as the modulation of IGF1, the reduction in inflammation, and butyrate’s influence on the bone marrow microenvironment. This justifies the need for nutritional counseling and further clinical studies to lay the foundations for the definition of shared nutritional guidelines.
Acupuncture and mind–body techniques, which have a good safety profile, can provide valuable help in improving tolerance and compliance with treatment.
Among supplements and vitamins, we have identified those that have been most studied in MM both for their in vitro action and for their efficacy demonstrated in clinical studies. Most of the data we have available unfortunately come from preclinical studies that, although promising, are not yet confirmed by clinical trials.
For this reason, well-designed clinical trials are absolutely necessary: they will allow us to propose guidelines that include the recommended supplements but also provide warnings for those with bad safety profiles. It is also very important to take into account the potential interactions with conventional drugs used in MM.
As we have seen, some substances such as vitamin C may limit the effectiveness of drugs such as bortezomib. These are substances often used by the patients without communicating to their hematologist, thinking that they are harmless. In-depth knowledge of the mechanisms of action and possible drug interactions is therefore mandatory. These interactions could also be synergistic, opening up new horizons for integrative therapy, which could be a way of making the best use of the drugs currently at our disposal.

7. Conclusions

Integrative oncology modalities may offer significant improvement of QoL-related concerns in patients coping with Multiple Myeloma diagnosis and treatment. This is particularly relevant in the present era where effective hematology treatment is associated with increased life expectancy.
In this narrative review, we examine the data regarding acupuncture, dietary interventions, and supplements, while also considering mind–body interventions as part of the entire hematologic approach (Figure 2).


Leave a Comment:

DiAnna says a couple of weeks ago

Super excited about reading this. Was diagnosed in fall of 2023 doing great so far.

    David Emerson says a couple of weeks ago

    Hi DiAnna- let me know if you have any questions- good luck.

    David Emerson

Kathryn Guillaum says last month

Thank you

    David Emerson says last month

    You are welcome Kat-

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