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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Monitoring Your Multiple Myeloma

prognosis for multiple myeloma
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I wouldn’t call them “new tools” for  monitoring your multiple myeloma but I do think diagnostic testing referred to in the article below for the MM survivor has come along way over the past dozen or so years. And I do think that MM survivors should understand their diagnostic testing in order to understand their progress…or not.

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we discuss monitoring your multiple myeloma. Once you have been diagnosed with MM, diagnostic testing becomes a part of your life. Year in, year out. You must monitor your multiple myeloma. For life.

The main issue of this post is that Dr. Paiva presents MM treatment only one specific way. Based on my experience, this way is aggressive. Or what Dr. Vincent Rajkumar refers to as “potentially curative.”

In fact, in my experience there are other therapy plans available to the NDMM patient depending on the goals of the NDMM patient.

What happens if the NDMM patient does not reach complete remission (CR)? 

Many NDMM patients do not reach CR after induction therapy. Many oncologists push the NDMM patient to undergo more and more toxicity in an effort to reach CR or MRD. Research shows that reaching CR or MRD is great and leads to a longer first remission but DOES NOT necessarily lead to longer length of life aka OS. And let’s face it, more treatment means more toxicity which increases your risk of short, long-term and late stage side effects.

What happens if the NDMM patient wants a higher quality of life and therefore less toxicity, less chemo?

The best way to achieve a high quality of life as a NDMM patient is to undergo LESS toxicity. Less toxicity is less chemo whether fewer regimens or lower doses of regimens. This is the “control” approach to the cure vs. control debate in MM care.  

What are the basic diagnostic tests used to monitor multiple myeloma?

  • Blood Tests:
    • Complete Blood Count (CBC): Checks the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
    • Serum Protein Electrophoresis (SPEP): Detects abnormal proteins (monoclonal or M proteins) produced by myeloma cells.
    • Immunofixation Electrophoresis: Identifies the specific type of abnormal antibody.
    • Serum Free Light Chain Assay: Measures free light chains in the blood.
    • Beta-2 Microglobulin: High levels can indicate more advanced disease.
    • Calcium Levels: High calcium levels can be a sign of bone damage from myeloma.
  • Urine Tests:
    • 24-Hour Urine Collection: Measures the amount of protein (including Bence Jones protein) excreted in the urine.
    • Urine Protein Electrophoresis (UPEP): Detects abnormal proteins in the urine.
  • Bone Marrow Examination:
    • Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy: Examines the bone marrow for the presence of myeloma cells.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • X-rays: Detect bone damage or fractures.
    • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Provides detailed images of bone and bone marrow.
    • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan: Helps to detect bone lesions and assess bone health.
    • PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan: Helps to identify active areas of disease.
  • Cytogenetic and Molecular Testing:
    • Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH): Detects genetic abnormalities in myeloma cells.
    • Gene Expression Profiling: Provides information about gene activity in myeloma cells

In my experience, it is in the best interest of the NDMM patient to walk the fine line between damage done by their MM and damage done by their conventional therapies. I believe that the FDA approved standard-of-care therapies plan of induction therapy, autologous stem cell transplant and low-dose maintenance therapy is way too much toxicity for many NDMM patients.

man hand holding his nutritional supplemets, healthy lifestyle background.

Because of the dangers of an aggressive approach to MM treatment expressed below, I think it is important for NDMM patients to understand that there are pros and cons to this approach. NDMM patients must understand ALL there treatment options and make the best decisions for them.

Are you a newly diagnosed MM patient? Email me if you would like to learn more about evidence-based non-conventional therapies at David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

New Tools for Monitoring Multiple Myeloma

“”Much better treatment responses are achieved, with long-term remission, so tools are needed for long-term monitoring. The starting point for monitoring is the monoclonal protein secreted by the myeloma tumor cell, which can be measured in serum and urine. Complete remission is defined when that monoclonal component is not detected with routine laboratory techniques, such as immunofixation,” said Paiva…

In addition to these techniques, PET-CT is also used. This imaging tool is “very useful for seeing disease both inside and outside the marrow,” said Paiva…

As for the future, the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] has just approved the use of minimal residual disease as one of the trial objectives. This may allow drugs to reach patients much sooner, instead of waiting for survival data, which takes much longer to obtain,” he said…

Researchers are also learning how to use minimal residual disease and these imaging techniques to individualize the treatment of patients with myeloma…



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