Monday, April 30, 2012

I Had Fun Today

I had a chance today to address employees of Celgene, makers of pomalidomide, the investigational drug that has kept my myeloma stable for more than four years now.  I'm grateful for the drug, and told them so.  They seemed pleased, and I had a lot of fun.

Celgene recently announced that they have submitted pomalidomide to the FDA for approval, see previous post.  I will be delighted when the drug is accessible to even more people.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pomalidomide Submitted for FDA Approval

I'm so delighted.  Pomalidomide, by Celgene, is the new, innovative anti-cancer drug which has kept my myeloma stable for four years now, in a drug trial.  That trial and other trials have demonstrated that pomalidomide is a powerful combatant in the fight against myeloma.  When pomalidomide is available to everyone it will benefit many, many patients.  For some, it will save their lives.

If all goes very well, the FDA could approve pomalidomide as soon as this fall.

Here is a great article on Celgene's April 26 announcement, by the International Myeloma Foundation.

The other very promising drug on the immediate horizon is carfilzomib, by Onyx, submitted for FDA approval last September and well on its way to approval.  It uses a different mechanism than pomalidomide for fighting myeloma, and there is even a trial underway to determine how well they might work together.

Things are happening.  Never stop hoping.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another Good Result at Mayo

At the end of the 53rd 28-day cycle on the pomalidomide study, I'm happy with the results once again.

Cancer markers: IgG is up slightly, from 1100 to 1290 mg/dL, but that's where it was in November and February, so it's not scary, and part of the increase may be good IgG responding to the surgery. M-spike came up a bit too, 1.0 to 1.1 g/dL, but that increase was less than the increase in IgG. That's fine. Lambda and kappa light chains did their usual bounce too, this time down, nicely into the reference range.

Neutrophils: These cells are the first responders of the immune system, always on the alert, and they are up 250% from last month. Since there is no evidence of any infection, Dr LH believes that this increase is my body's normal response to the hernia surgery 16 days ago. See Too Late to Back Out Now. Actually, I'm tickled to see that my supposedly-compromised immune system is able to respond that well to a perceived threat.

Calcium: Last month calcium was 10.3 mg/dL, slightly over the top of the range, but today it was 9.6, comfortably below. Dr L said that hydration makes a big difference, and I did make an effort to hydrate properly this time. Now I'm a believer. One happy interpretation of the reduction is that last month's high reading most likely did not come from bone lesions, because those don't stop sending calcium into the blood.

Rash from Bactrim: I mentioned to Dr LH that Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole) caused a rash on my leg. She asked if I had confirmed that by going off until the rash went away, then going back on again. I have not confirmed it, though the time-correlation was too stark for me to doubt. I may get a chance to confirm it sometime in the future, but I'm not going to take Bactrim as a prophylaxis, only if I know of an infection that it might fix.

Most-Recent Test Results:

Test    Jan 12    Feb 07    Mar 08    Apr 04     Remarks
M-spike g/dL 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.1 \ Tumor marker
IgG mg/dL 1190 1280 1100 1290 / Tumor marker
Lambda mg/dL 2.24 1.99 2.80 2.24 L Free light chains
Calcium mg/dL 10.0 10.2 10.3 9.6 High
Creatinine mg/dL 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.2 Kidney, OK
HGB g/dL 15.1 15.2 14.2 14.6 Hemoglobin, OK
RBC M/uL 4.36 4.18 3.86 4.08 Red cells, low
WBC K/uL 4.8 4.5 3.7 6.1 White cells, normal
ANC K/uL 2.40 1.70 1.50 3.80 Neutrophils, way up

Related Links:

My Myeloma     A discussion of my myeloma, not very technical.
My Treatment History Not technical.
My Test Charts Graphic displays of several key test results over time.
My Test Result Table Somewhat technical. Best with a wide browser window.
My Supplement Regimen With links to where I buy them.

Crocuses seem to shout, don't they!