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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.

Click the orange button to the right to learn more about what you can start doing today.

Lytic Lesions- Can Multiple Myeloma Patients Heal Bone Damage?

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“Myeloma cells disturb a normally balanced bone remodeling process. This imbalance of bone metabolism may cause osteopenic bones, focal osteo lytic lesions and clinical symptoms.”

For the MM patient, bone involvement is both a symptom and a side effect. Multiple myeloma causes bone damage from thinning bones to little holes in the bones to big holes (think Swiss cheese). We MM patients want to know how to heal our MM as well as how to heal our lytic lesions aka out bone damage. How do MM patients and survivors manage our bone health? How do we heal our bones?

According to the research linked below, MM patients can heal their bones sometimes. According to my experience as a MM survivor, yes, we can heal our bones completely.

The difference between a conventional therapy’s “maybe” and a non-conventional therapy’s “yes” is the difference between how the FDA has to do things and how a multiple myeloma survivor like me does things.

Please note that I am not criticizing the FDA here. I’m simply saying that I/we have a lot more flexibility in the therapies that we undergo.

FDA “Standard-of-care” bone therapies are:

  • bisphosphonates (acedia, pamidronate, etc.) and
  • denosumab

Evidence-based but not FDA approved bone therapies are:

  • Supplementation (vitamin d3, curcumin, resveratrol, DHEA, etc.)
  • Exercise,
  • Nutrition,
  • As well as the standard-of-care therapies

I was non-secretory. My MM didn’t exhibit much in my blood or urine. But I experienced lots of bone involvement. Think big “swiss cheese-like” holes. When I was told I was end-stage, I was walking around with more than a dozen holes in my bones.

I was thankful when a non-conventional therapy put me into complete remission after 17 months of therapy. However I did worry about my bone health going forward. I wondered if I would experience bone breaks…

My point is that over the next half-dozen years, I worked at all the non-conventional bone health therapies listed above and my bones healed. Completely.

I believe that multiple myeloma survivors must always work to stay in remission as well as work to maintain their bone health. Yes, this is a sort of double burden of MM survivorship but I think by living this way, you will be happier and healthier.

Have you been diagnosed with MM? Are you experiencing a lot of “bone involvement?” To learn more about both conventional and non-c0nventional bone therapies scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer 

Recommended Reading:


NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

“Lytic lesion (LIH-tik LEE-zhun) Destruction of an area of bone due to a disease process, such as cancer”

Bone healing in multiple myeloma: a prospective evaluation of the impact of first-line anti-myeloma treatment

“Myeloma cells disturb a normally balanced bone remodeling process. This imbalance of bone metabolism may cause osteopenic bones, focal osteolytic lesions and clinical symptoms.

The excess bone resorption resulting in osteolytic lesions has traditionally been perceived as irreversible. We investigated the potential for bone healing in a prospective study of previously untreated multiple myeloma (MM) patients using a five-drug bortezomib-containing treatment regimen…

Well-defined osteo lytic lesions with a diameter of ≥10 mm on CT-scans were identified as target lesions at baseline. Each target lesion was then evaluated in terms of size and development of osteosclerosis in all consecutive CT-scans. The presence of osteosclerosis at the edge of a target lesion was interpreted as an early sign of healing and classified dichotomously as being either present or not present (Figure 1).

More pronounced formation of sclerotic bone, together with a simultaneous reduction in the largest diameter of the osteolytic lesion by ≥30%, was interpreted as a more advanced sign of healing (Figure 1)…

In addressing the impact of a five-drug bortezomib-containing treatment on bone healing in MM, we found development of a rim of sclerosis in the osteolytic lesions of the majority of the patients and that some osteolytic lesions also showed more profound signs of healing. While sclerosis was observed in all the lesions in a small number of patients, a heterogeneous response was found in individual patients in general, with some lesions showing sclerosis or healing and some showing no response…

This prospective study showed that osteolytic lesions may, at the very least, be partially reversible in the majority of responding patients. Nevertheless, our data also showed intra-patient variation with respect to re-induction of bone formation in the osteolytic lesions. As a consequence, the degree of destruction of the microenvironment within the individual osteolytic lesion may have implications for any possibility of achieving healing of bone lesions…”

“Pharmaceutical agents can be effective in treating osteoporosis, but there is an increased interest in non-pharmacological prevention and treatment for the condition. Healthcare providers can help prevent and treat osteoporosis by supporting the improvement of nutritional status through diet and nutritional supplementation, along with suggestion for an increase in exercise training…

  • The Importance of Exercise
  • Effective Dietary Interventions
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Boron
  • Strontium
  • Isoflavones
  • Vitamin K

Conclusion – Healthcare practitioners can be instrumental in educating their patients about the fact that, with intelligent dietary and lifestyle choices, osteoporosis is largely preventable for most people.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment:

12 comments
Roberta A Holland says 3 weeks ago

Hi David-
Are you still there? I was diagnosed with Light Chain MM (90%) in Dec 2020.- as of 5/2022 am 6 month post-SCT. Did not achieve full remission but very good partial remission. (2-3% residual). Last week an MRI showed multiple bone lesions in both mandibles, skull, upper spine and sternum, all that.MRI covered. Scheduled for full body PetScan and another BM biopsy this coming week for a complete re-staging. Can you point me in the direction for some suggestions, please?

Reply
    David Emerson says 3 weeks ago

    Hi Roberta-

    Yes, I am still here. Studies indicate that VGPR and CR can achieve the same overall survival. As for your current bone involvement, my guess is that your oncologist will want to prescribe more chemo- have you undergone darzelex/daratumumab? I would also consider integrative therapies. Those supplements such as curcumin, resveratrol, thymoquinone shown to enhance the efficacy of specific chemo regimens.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Hang in there,

    David Emerson

    Reply
Karen Hartvig-Nielsen says 9 months ago

Twenty years in remission post mini auto/allo transplant at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Sixteen compression fractures in spine, lytic lesions on R. femur, left upper arm, and skull plus multiple past rib fractures (At least once a year a rib will fracture). Damage to stomach precluded a good diet/supplements. PROBLEM: Kyphotic back, break after break with hardly any time to recover. Never been enough bone left to plate or screw, so no repairs. Now I have been “fired” from a practice for asking for pain meds, even though there is absolutely NO HISTORY or issue with tolerance or addiction. Very, very difficult to get prescribed, but how can I move or exercise even a little with so much damage. Perhaps that many fractures isn’t a big deal and I’m just being a weinnie?

Reply
    David Emerson says 9 months ago

    Hi Karen- Let me first congratulate you on such a long remission. As for your back pain, opioids, etc two things. First, I am sure you fractures are a big deal and I am sure you are not being a weinie.
    Beyond that, I cannot offer helpful info. Your situation is over my head. I do think exercise would help but I cannot offer help as your situation is complex. Perhaps physical therapy, massage, acupuncture would help?
    Sorry I can’t offer more info.
    Hang in there,
    David Emerson

    Reply
Julianne E Love says last year

Good morning. I have MM and would like to learn more about the non-conventional therapies.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Julianne-

    I just sent you your welcome email with questions about your MM, goals, etc.

    Let me know, thanks.

    David Emerson

    Reply
Karen Hartvig-Nielsen says last year

I have 13 compression fractures and one top plate fracture (L5) plus six bulging discs. I’ve had one hip replaced due to avascular neucrosis. I can’t find ANY professional to help with this issue. They focus on my pain meds and NOT the problem. Is there any type of specialist that works with my type of case? And, can a chiropracter help? I was once told to stay away from chiropracters…was that piece of information right?
The opiod “crisis” is causing my doctors to decrease meds that I really need to move. Help!

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Karen-

    I am sorry to read of all of your bone involvement. I’ll try to address each question.

    As for a specialist- this is going to be similar to MM- oncology, hematology/oncology, MM specialist. Meaning an orthopedist, then an orthopedist who specializes in AVN. I have not researched this area and therefore can’t recommend anyone.

    As for a chiropractor, I admit that you must be careful because you’ve sustained so much bone damage to your spine. I presented originally with damage to my C5 and have been helped by a chiropractor but I had only one break.

    I have also read that doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioids. Though I’ve read many positives about CBD elevating bone pain.

    I wish I could offer you more info Karen.

    David Emerson

    Reply
      Karen Hartvig-Nielsen says 9 months ago

      Thank you for your comments, David. I found them after I commented for the second time….same problem. In regards to CBD, I grow my own organic marijuana and use a popular recipe for making CBD caps. I have been able to discontinue my sleeping medication, a rarely used muscle relaxer, and at least one less Hydrocodone per day. It is also relaxing. I read reports that a good quality CBD requires a tiny amount of THC in order to work its best, so don’t cook all the THC out of your coconut oil/marijuana mix. It’s your medicine, so make it to the strength you prefer. CBD was recommended to my son by the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society. They also supplied the recipe. He let me try his capsules and we both celebrated a serious reduction in pain meds AND an improvement in quality of life.

      Reply
Jayne Joyce says last year

I would love more info on how to join this group – or have a consultation. I keep seeing sites, but most of the comments are 3 years old. Was nice to see this one was a few months. I just don’t know where to begin with this. Thank you!!!

Reply
Jim says a couple of years ago

I have had a fracture of my right humerus and the latest PET suggests the left one is in the same condition..I sure would like to avoid that..I would appreciate any help with regard to bone health..thanks..J.

Reply
    David Emerson says a couple of years ago

    Hi Jim-
    I replied to your email inbox-
    David Emerson

    Reply
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