You would be well served with Dr. Hari as your myeloma doctor. He certainly seems as knowledgable as any doctor I've met. He cruised through a lot of information, on a lot of slides, in a fairly short time:
- My Favorite: During a coffee break, a patient asked Dr. Hari, "What can we patients do besides just following our doctor's orders?" Back on the podium, Dr. Hari departed from his prepared presentataion with with brief, unscripted lifestyle suggestions:
- Fitness: He recommended both weight training and aerobic exercise for people whose bones can take the stress.
- Nutrition: In addition, he recommended more vegetables and less red meat. Further, he mentioned that curcumin is a helpful myeloma treatment for some people and harmless otherwise, but green tea (or EGCG) should not be taken with Velcade because the green tea can rescue the myeloma cells that Velcade tries to kill.
I've never heard such an enthusiastic endorsement of lifestyle changes from any doctor before. Every one of my doctors has wholeheartedly supported the choices that I have made, training for and running marathons, and eating the best diet we can find, but Dr. Hari proposed a similar lifestyle out of the blue.
- He also gave a quick review of what myeloma is;
- Some statistics about cases, including length of survival as treatments have improved;
- Some discussion of "high risk" versus normal risk myeloma;
- Spine repair;
- Current therapies, including the "novel" therapies: thalidomide, Revlimid, Velcade, and others in various ombinations;
- Transplants, including auto, allo, mini-allo, and combinations;
- Post-transplant consolidation and maintenance;
- Treatments which are in clinical trials including pomalidomide, catfilzomib, elotuzumab, and more;
Teresa Miceli's presentation was titled "Managing Side Effects of Myeloma and Novel Agents:
- She discussed how myeloma itself impacts quality of life;
- Gastrointestinal side effects;
- Myelosuppression (low blood counts);
- DVT and other blood clots;
- Peripheral neuropathy;
- Renal function (drink, drink, drink);
- Bone health; and
- Sexual function and dysfunction.
Thanks to the International Myeloma Foundation for hosting this seminar, free of charge to all.