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

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Multiple Myeloma Relapse

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When patients present with biochemical relapse in the absence of hypercalcemia, renal failure, anemia, or bone lesions (or CRAB) criteria, the optimal timing of initiating salvage treatment is always questionable.

My view differs from conventional oncology’s view of Multiple Myeloma (MM) in many ways. I think very differently from oncology when it comes to the subject of  MM relapse/recurrence (MM/RR).

If you would like the long explanation of how conventional oncology defines a MM relapse, please read the article linked below.

Since I am a MM survivor, I think like a MM patient. I think about what MMers want to know when they face a relapse of their disease. A MM relapse is a trend, not a single point in your blood work. Induction therapy is designed to tilt your MM trend downward. Hopefully to a complete remission aka normal blood work. Hopefully, your remission lasts for years. But not always.

If your markers are trending up, I think the question that MMers should ask themselves and their oncologists is whether their MM or their next round of chemotherapy will do more damage. In all fairness, the answer might be either.

Hopefully, if you have an autologous stem cell transplant you achieve complete remission…for years. But not always. A relapse is when your MM blood markers begin trending upward. One single blood test may not signal a relapse. I think that several upward moving blood markers is an example of a myeloma relapse.

My point is that as a MMer your disease either is trending down, is normal, or is trending up. MMers are happy with the first two scenarios. We are unhappy if our MM blood markers are trending up. Plain and simple.

Conventional chemotherapies such as Velcade, Revlimid, Cytoxan, etc. alone or in combination are good at reducing your MM. The problem is, all MMers relapse. Always.

I have managed to remain in complete remission since April of 1999 by living an anti-MM lifestyle. Anti-MM nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle and even mind-body therapies have kept me from a MM relapse since 1999.

To learn more about achieving a deeper, longer remission, avoiding the side effects of MM chemotherapy and radiation and keeping your bones healthy and strong, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

 

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Treatment options for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma

“Optimal timing to initiate therapy at relapse

When patients present with biochemical relapse in the absence of hypercalcemia, renal failure, anemia, or bone lesions (or CRAB) criteria, the optimal timing of initiating salvage treatment is always questionable. Previous complications of the disease (ie, presentation with myeloma-related renal impairment, extramedullary disease) may indicate an earlier rather than a later time of initiation of therapy, before symptom development. In the absence of evidence of high tumor burden or an aggressive relapse (with elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase,79 rapidly rising paraprotein levels,2 light-chain escape80), observation of biochemical relapse with monitoring every 6 to 8 weeks until the patient develops clinical manifestations of symptomatic myeloma is currently recommended…”

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