“Both standard “induction chemotherapy” and an autologous stem cell transplant involve high doses of chemotherapy.”
Hi David- I am writing to you about multiple myeloma treatments. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) early this year. My MM symptoms don’t include kidney damage or anemia but I do have bone damage and bone pain.
In terms of stage it’s early MM that’s all I know. I’m 62 and otherwise healthy.
I hope to live a healthy and active life. Since my diagnosis I haven’t eaten red or white meat and limit other animal products, I exercise everyday, have acupuncture and take curcumin.
I’m currently having plasma infusions to increase my immunity and pamisol infusion to help with bone strength. My doctor thinks I probably will progress to chemo treatment and then stem cell transplant. My second opinion doctor doesn’t offer infusions and recommends I go straight to chemo and stem cell transplant.
Do you have an opinion on stem cell transplant in the treatment of MM? My main concern is the high doses of chemo that are required prior to the transplant. Mary
Yes, I have definite opinions about autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). But first, let me address your other issues.
1) “I was diagnosed with MM early this year.”
I am sorry to learn of your MM diagnosis.
2) “I dont have kidney damage, or anemia but have bone disease. Im currently having plasma infusions to increase my immunity and pamisol infusion to help with bone strength.”
Not having kidney involvement is a great start. Anemia is red blood cell deficiency- great that you are not deficient in red blood cells. Bone involvement is a challenge but a common symptom. Pamisol (pamidronate) is the FDA “standard-of-care” approved therapy to strengthen bones.
3) “My doctor thinks I probably will progress to chemo treatment and then stem cell transplant. My second opinion doctor doesnt offer infusions and recommends I go straight to chemo and stem cell transplant. Do you have an opinion on stem cell transplant in the treatment of MM. My main concern is the high doses of chemo that are required prior to the transplant.”
Your therapy plan (chemo, ASCT, etc.) depends largely (in my opinion anyway) on your stage and symptoms at diagnosis. It sounds to be as though you are early stage MM. In my experience the MM “standard-of-care” therapy plan is much too much toxicity for the early stage MM patient.
You are correct to be concerned about high doses of chemotherapy. Both standard “induction chemotherapy” and an autologous stem cell transplant involve high doses of chemotherapy. Both of these standard therapies cause short, long-term and late stage side effects.
You came in on the blog post about “What is MM? Oncology has it backwards…” When I wrote that I was trying to make the argument that newly diagnosed MM patients like you should think about the big MM picture when thinking about their therapy plan.
In other words, if the newly diagnosed patient undergoes high doses of chemo early in his/her life as a MM, he/she will develop damage caused by the toxicity as well as speed their way toward MDR aka multi-drug resistance.
In short, my experience is that the more chemo the patient undergoes, the more pain, short, long-term and late stage side effects he/she risks and more chemo does NOT mean a longer life, according to research. It doesn’t and never has.
62 is young as MM patients go. You have early stage MM and, again, in my experience, you will live a longer life, with fewer side effects if you just control your MM and not attempt potentially curative therapies. Conventional oncology refers to ASCT as potentially curative. It is not and never has cured any MM patient.
Nutrition is an important complementary MM therapy going forward. Acupuncture and frequent, moderate exercise is as well.
- resveratrol and
- omega-3 fatty acids,
as well as other supplements have shown the ability to both kill MM as well as support the patient’s immune system.
- MM Survivor
- MM Cancer Coach
- Director PeopleBeatingCancer
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
“Patients with multiple myeloma often have low levels of the normal antibodies (immunoglobulins) needed to fight infection. This can lead to problems with lung and/or sinus infections that keep coming back. The level of antibodies in the patient’s blood can be tested, and if it’s low, antibodies from donors can be given into a vein (IV) to raise the levels and help prevent infections. The antibodies given are called IVIG or intravenous immunoglobulin. IVIG is often given once a month at first, but may be able to be given less often based on blood tests of antibody levels…”
Generic Name: disodium pamidronate
Product Name: Pamisol
Indication: What Pamisol is used for
This medicine is used in the treatment of:
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
There is not enough information to recommend the use of this medicine for children.
Action: How Pamisol works
This medicine belongs to a group of medicines called bisphosphonates.
It works by binding to bones and preventing them from being broken down excessively. This reduces the amount of calcium released into the blood. It can also reduce bone pain, prevent fractures (breaks) and reduce the need for radiation therapy of cancers that have spread to the bone.
Pamisol contains disodium pamidronate as the active ingredient. It also contains mannitol, phosphoric acid, and sodium hydroxide.
This medicine does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.”
The most common MM symptoms are:
The most common side effects/complications caused by MM therapies are:
The most common causes of death for multiple myeloma survivors are: