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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Is plasma exchange therapy, sometimes called therapeutic plasma exchange or plasmapheresis beneficial for myeloma patients?
If you are one of the 20%-40% of newly diagnosed myeloma patients with kidney involvement (the R in CRAB), you will want to learn about plasmapheresis to see if it is right for you.
Plasma exchange therapy, also known as plasmapheresis, is a medical procedure used to treat various conditions, including certain complications of multiple myeloma.
In multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) produce excessive amounts of a protein called immunoglobulin. This can lead to complications such as hyperviscosity syndrome or renal failure.
Plasma exchange involves removing a portion of the patient’s blood, separating the plasma (the liquid component of blood that contains various proteins, including immunoglobulins), and then replacing it with a substitute solution. The removed plasma is discarded, and the remaining blood components (such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) are returned to the patient.
The goal of plasma exchange therapy in multiple myeloma is to reduce the levels of abnormal immunoglobulins and alleviate symptoms associated with complications like hyperviscosity or kidney dysfunction. By removing the excess immunoglobulins, the procedure can help improve blood flow and reduce strain on the kidneys.
It’s important to note that plasma exchange is not a primary treatment for multiple myeloma itself. Instead, it is used as a supportive measure to manage specific complications associated with the disease.
The decision to undergo plasma exchange therapy is typically made by a healthcare team based on the individual patient’s condition and specific clinical circumstances. The procedure is usually performed in a hospital setting by trained medical professionals.
If you read my blog posts on PeopleBeatingCancer.org you will know that I try to be fully transparent as well as balance conventional and evidence-based non-conventional therapies. In the case of kidney involvement in the newly diagnosed myeloma patient, plasmapheresis seems to be an immediate (fast) therapy shown to thin your blood in an effort to also ease up on your clogged kidney if you present with kidney involvement.
The first study linked and excerpted below explains how the use of plasmapheresis increased over the past 20 or so years and how the cost of this procedure has greatly increased. Please make sure that your health insurance covers plasma exchange therapy.
Both curcumin and black seed oil have been shown to enhance kidney function. However, experience has taught me that non-conventional therapies work slowly. Plasmapheresis will work its magic in hours not weeks/months.
Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? Do you have kidney involvement aka kidney damage? Let me know.
“Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) has become more common in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) in the past quarter-century, even as the cost of the treatment has jumped by more than 400%, according to a new report.
TPE is primarily used in patients with high free light chain (FLC) burden in order to prevent renal injury from myeloma cast neuropathy (MCN), though some patients are given TPE as a result of hyperviscosity and neuropathy. Renal impairment, which is present in nearly 30% of patients with MM, has been associated with higher morbidity and mortality and lower quality of life.
Rapid identification and reduction of high FLC has been linked with better outcomes, prompting many to turn to TPE. The therapy has been included in management guidelines for the prevention of renal impairment in MM…
The authors looked at patients 18 years of age and older who had MM and were treated with TPE between the years 1993 and 2015. They examined utilization trends, hospital charges, in-hospital mortality, length of hospitalization, and predictors of in-hospital mortality and length of hospitalization.
The analysis found significant upward shifts. In the case of MM hospitalizations for TPE, Dhakal and colleagues noted that 1% of all MM discharges between 1993 and 1999 were for TPE hospitalizations, but between 2008 and 2015, the rate was 2.1%. Likewise, the median hospital charge in the former period was $24,407, but it ballooned to $113,496 by the latter time frame. About 70% of patients receiving TPE had acute kidney injuries (AKIs)…
“Plasmapheresis is an uncommon treatment that can be used to manage something called myeloma kidney, a type of kidney failure that affects many people with multiple myeloma. It separates out plasma from the rest of your blood. It’s a way to remove abnormal proteins and other harmful substances from your blood…
In multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells multiply too quickly. These cells make a type of protein called an M protein that builds up and makes your blood thicker than usual. Thick blood can’t flow as easily around your body. The abnormal protein can also damage your kidneys…
Plasmapheresis is a supportive treatment. That means it can temporarily help to relieve multiple myeloma symptoms and treat complications, particularly myeloma kidney, but it won’t cure your cancer.
Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) or plasma exchange are other names for plasmapheresis…