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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Another consideration for Revlimid maintenace therapy for multiple myeloma (MM), is to include evidence-based, integrative therapies. Reseach cites curcumin as a non-toxic integrative therapy that can enhance the efficacy of lenalidomide (LEN) in MM. I can’t help but wonder if an integrative effort would increase overall survival while reducing adverse events- especially secondary cancers.
LEN as a single maintance therapy does not increase MMers’ lifespan aka overall survival. This is clear. LEN does however, lengthen progression-free survival. Longer remission can be important to MM survivors.
LEN does have documented adverse events. The lower the dose of maintenance LEN, the lower the risk of these advese events.
If a study indicates that curcumin 1) is cytotoxic to MM 2) enhances the efficacy of lenalidomide and 3) does not intefere with lenlidomide’s cytotoxicity in any way then it is difficult to see a reason why the MMer who is undergoing low-dose mainenance lenalidomide would not add curcumin to his/her maintance regimen.
I’ve been supplementing with curcumin for more than 10 years now. Over these past 10 years there has been a sort of arms race of sorts. Pure curcumin is notoriously difficult to absorb. Science first discovered that by adding a small about of black pepper to curcumin, bioavailability was dramatically enhanced. The current state of curcumin’s bioavailability is summarized at the bottom of this post. Suffice to say that curcumin’s bioavailability has come a long way.
Please watch the video below to learn more about the evidence-based, integrative therapies to combat treatment side effects and enhance your chemotherapy.
Have you been diagnosed with MM? Are you considering low dose LEN aka Revlimid maintenance therapy? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Maintenance therapy with LEN remains a standard of care for patients with multiple myeloma. However, optimizing maintenance therapy in this setting is required as a result of LEN’s lack of overall survival benefit and improvement in outcomes for patients with high-risk cytogenic abnormalities, according to a recent study.
Multiple myeloma is a hematologic malignancy in the bone marrow. Because of the incurable nature of the disease, the therapeutic goal is not curative but to keep the disease in remission for as long as possible…
LEN is one of the drugs approved and used for maintenance treatment to extend progression-free survival in patients with multiple myeloma. Because it is formulated orally, lenalidomide is particularly convenient for patients to use. Furthermore, it is well tolerated, with few toxicities. Some of the toxicities to monitor include thrombocytopenia, decreases in renal function, and the development of other malignancies. Data from multiple trials have shown lenalidomide to be effective and well tolerated in both patients who are transplant eligible and ineligible.
One area of interest with lenalidomide maintenance therapy is whether all patients need continuous maintenance therapy and for how long. For patients who achieved adequate responses during induction and consolidation, the continuous use of LEN remains unclear. To address this issue, investigators are turning to long-term minimal residual disease monitoring and next-generation sequencing.
Although LEN maintenance has been successfully used for maintenance therapy, it lacks an overall survival benefit. In patients with high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities with a poor prognosis, lenalidomide did not improve their survival benefits. New standards of care, such as personalized medicine, will be needed to improve outcomes for these patients.”
Reference- Mateos MV, de la Calle VG. Lenalidomide as maintenance for every newly diagnosed patient with multiple myeloma. Lancet Oncol. 2019;20(1):5-6. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30764-2.
“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”
A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.
I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.
The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.
The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.
I consult the independent evaluation service Consumerlab.com frequently. For one low annual payment, I can read about and evaluate all of the nutritional supplements that I take.
“CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.“
“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.
The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.
Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.
Based on the published reports,
exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”
According to Consumerlab.com:
“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”