New and networking

| Teresa Miceli

As we near the last days of the 58th Annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, my brain is filling and my body is tiring. We have had many full days of educational sessions and networking with members of the myeloma community. Here are just a few takeaways that I would like to share:

  • A new phrase is being coined—”penta-refractory”—meaning, indicating relapse after failing five of the drugs used for treatment. This has both exciting and scary implications. It means that we have this many therapies for a person to become refractory to, but more treatment options need to be made available.
  • New therapies that show promise in myeloma but are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are being discussed. These drugs include Selinexor and Venetoclax. Selinexor is a first-in-class XPO1 inhibitor used with Dex to suppress oncogene expression. Venetoclax induces myeloma cell death through inhibiting anti-apoptotic proteins, and is especially effective in people with t(11;14) FISH abnormality. It is effective as monotherapy, but dex has been added, showing benefit.
  • Many other therapies are being discussed, such as daratumumab, Pembroluzimab, Nelfinavir, Isatuximab, and combination therapies.

Learn more by

  1. following me on Twitter @IMFnurseMyeloma; and by
  2. networking with other support group leaders; multiple myeloma organizations from Canada, Brazil, and Australia; and Patient Advocate representatives from industry (Takeda Oncology, Janssen, Amgen, Celgene and Bristol-Meyer-Squibb) to learn ways to help each other on this journey.

There is so much to learn: so many sessions to attend that require choosing from a plethora of important topics—some of which are presented at the same time. Needless to say, my FitBit (and me) have had quite the work out.

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Jack Aiello

Diagnosed with myeloma in 1995, Jack is strong proponent of patients participating in clinical trials so that, in the future, myeloma and other cancers will be known as curable diseases. He is a proud facilitator of the San Francisco Bay Area Myeloma Support Group.

Follow Jack on Twitter