About Lizzy

Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.

Clinical Trial: Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patient- Bortezomib or Carfilzomib With Lenalidomide and Dex

This trial, for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients, has over 450 sites. Approximately 756 patients will be enrolled in this study. Typical initial treatment for newly diagnosed multiple includes a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory drug and a steroid. Today, the use of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade along with the iMiD Revlimid and the steroid dexamethasone [...]

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A Personal Story of Surviving My Third Stem Cell Transplant

BY LIZZY SMITH I have completed my stem cell transplant and lived to tell the tale. This was my third-- in 2012 I had tandem auto stem cell transplants within a five month period. I sailed through those. While I didn't feel great, and I hated the hair loss, I never developed complications or fevers. [...]

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Oncolytics Biotech Inc Announces Start of Enrollment in Phase 1b Study of Multiple Myeloma Looking at REOLYSIN® in Combination with Bortezomib

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. announced the launch of enrollment in a Phase Ib study of REOLYSIN, a virotherapy, combined with standard doses of bortezomib (Kyprolis) and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Kevin Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), is the principal investigator. REOLYSIN® [...]

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Myeloma Optimism? Its Abundant at ASH/FDA Joint Symposium on New Drug Approvals

BY SURABHI DANGI-GARIMELLA, PhD for AJMC “We have witnessed unprecedented progress in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Things have moved very well and most of this is because we now have a plethora of new drugs to support care pathways.” These opening statements by S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, [...]

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Myeloma Tales: Brian Helstien on Surviving & Thriving Post Diagnosis

A Q&A with myeloma warrior Brian Helstien on surviving and thriving post diagnosis. (The photo above is Brian's running schedule post stem cell transplant!) MYELOMA CROWD: Hi Brian and thanks for sharing your myeloma journey with our readers. When were you diagnosed with multiple myelom? It was in February 2011. As a runner, I had [...]

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Myeloma Clinical Trial: Palbociclib in Combination With Lenalidomide and Dex

What is the purpose of this trial? Our hypothesis is that treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma with PD 0332991 (Palbociclib) in combination with lenalidomide will result will be both effectively inducing myeloma plasma cell death as well maintaining a favorable side effect profile. Trial Overview Treatments: dexamethasone, Lenalidomide, Palbociclib Enrollment: Approx. 18 patients will be enrolled in this [...]

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Myeloma Patients of UAMS Benefit From Ministry That Provides Short-term Housing & Support

You’re in the prime of your life. You have a beautiful family, and a career you are passionate about. Suddenly, a diagnosis turns your world upside down. And the best treatment is in another state, hundreds of miles from home. unimaginable situation has been lived out by the thousands of cancer patients who have traveled [...]

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First-in-Human Trial CAR T Cell Trial Induces Multiple Myeloma Remissions, According to NCI/NIH Researchers

BY DEBRA HUGHES for Cancer Therapy Advisor The first clinical trial of an anti-B-cell maturation antigen chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-BCMA) has shown strong anti-myeloma activity, attendees at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting were told. “We have demonstrated for the first time that CAR T cells can have powerful activity against measurable [...]

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A New Treatment Option? Merck Immunotherapy Keytruda Shows Promise in Multiple Myeloma Trial

BY BILL BERKROT Merck & Co's immunotherapy Keytruda led to a high response rate for patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma when added to standard therapy in a small, early stage trial, according to data presented on Monday. The Phase I study tested Keytruda in combination with Celgene's REVLlMlD and the corticosteroid DEXAMETHAS0NE in [...]

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Washington Post: For Multiple Myeloma Community, a November to Remember

BY BRADY DAVIS for the Washington Post During a two-week span in November, the Food and Drug Administration approved three new drugs to treat multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer that kills an estimated 11,000 Americans a year. The approvals, along with others in recent years, are beginning to alter the prognosis of [...]

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Hospital Food, Cancer & Healing. Attempting the Impossible

BY LIZZY SMITH So I spent 15 days in the hospital recently battling pneumonia. One of the most horrible parts of being in the hospital was the food. No joke, it was making my physically ill. First, I was put on a neutoropenic diet, which means no fresh fruits and veggies unless they come in [...]

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Part 2: Cancer & Nutrition… Does Sugar Feed Cancer?

BY JEAN LAMANTIA In Part 1 of my Does Sugar Feed Cancer? series exploring the connection between sugar and cancer, I answered the questions What is one connection between sugar and cancer? And should I be on a Ketogenic diet? To find out the answers to these questions and learn how you can take action [...]

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Share Your Experience with Multiple Myeloma & Receive Amazon Gift Cards

C Space Health is working to improve the lives of those affected by multiple myeloma. If you or a loved one have been affected by multiple myeloma we’d like to invite you to be part of a private online forum dedicated to providing feedback that will be used to influence pharmaceutical makers’ decisions. Within [...]

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OncLive Shares Updated Data for Newly-Approved Myeloma Drugs Daratumumab and Elotuzumab

Daratumumab Activity Highlighted in Combined Myeloma Analysis  The CD38 monoclonal antibody daratumumab (Darzalex) demonstrated a 31% overall response rate (ORR) as monotherapy for patients with heavily pretreated multiple myeloma, according to a combined analysis of two pivotal studies presented at the 2015 ASH Annual Meeting. In combined data from the GEN501 and SIRIUS studies, the [...]

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The Future of Treating Myeloma? Anti–B-Cell Maturation Antigen CAR T Cells Show Promise for Advanced Disease

BY CAMERON KELSALL Find the original article here T cells genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor targeting B-cell maturation antigens demonstrated strong clinical activity in patients with heavily pretreated multiple myeloma, according to study results presented at the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is expressed by normal and malignant [...]

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FDA Approves Elotuzumab, a New Immune-Stimulating Therapy to Treat Multiple Myeloma

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for Empliciti (elotuzumab) in combination with two other therapies to treat people with multiple myeloma who have received one to three prior medications. Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer that occurs in infection-fighting plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) found in the [...]

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Th1/Tc1 Immunotherapy Following Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma

What is the purpose of this trial? Background:  Cancer development is associated with problems in immune system functions, which prevent the body from attacking and destroying the abnormal cells that lead to tumor growth. Research has suggested that certain white blood cells, known as Th1 and Th2 T cells, are affected in individuals with some [...]

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From LLS: Making Sense of the Two New Drugs Approved for Treating Myeloma & What’s Ahead

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) applauds the FDA's recent approval of two new drugs -- daratumumab and ixazomib -- to treat patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. These therapies are the latest in a growing arsenal to fight this blood cancer that impacts nearly 100,000 patients in the U.S.  Advances in treatments for many different [...]

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For Us Myeloma Survivors, We Must Learn to Ask For Help When We Need It

BY LIZZY SMITH One lesson I've learned late in life is that I need to learn to ask for help when I need it. I cannot do this battle alone and I have so many amazing family and friends who are ready, willing and eager to pitch in... if they only knew that I needed [...]

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Call For Auction Item Donations – Proceeds Will Benefit MCRI

The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) is off to a fabulous start, so far raising $500,000. Our next project is an online fundraising auction. We are asking you, our myeloma family, to consider donating something of value for this critically important project. Here's how it works: 1. Send a description and quality photo of the [...]

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FDA Approves Ixazomib, the First Oral Protease Inhibitor to Treat Myeloma. This Is the Second New Myeloma Drug Approved This Week

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved ixazomib (Ninlaro, Takeda Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received one or more previous therapies. The drug is the first oral proteasome inhibitor and is approved in combination with lenalidomide (Revlimid, Celgene) and the corticosteroid dexamethasone. The three-agent combination is the first [...]

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Phase 1b Study of Myeloma Looking at REOLYSIN in Combination with Bortezomib

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. announced that enrollment has commenced in a Phase Ib study of REOLYSIN combined with standard doses of bortezomib (Velcade) and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Kevin Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), is the principal investigator. "We recently [...]

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Adding Elotuzumab Safe, Effective in Relapsed Multiple Myeloma

BY JASON HOFFMAN, PharmD, RPh for Cancer Therapy Advisor Elotuzumab in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma demonstrated acceptable safety and efficacy that appears to be better than that previously observed with lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal The Lancet Haematology has [...]

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BREAKING NEWS: FDA Approves Darzalex (daratumumab) for Patients with Previously Treated Myeloma

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval for Darzalex (daratumumab) to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior treatments. Darzalex is the first monoclonal antibody approved for treating multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a form of blood cancer that occurs in infection-fighting plasma cells (a type of [...]

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OncLive Breaks Down What’s New In Treating Multiple Myeloma

  Excerpt from OncLive The innovation that helped produce a dramatic leap forward in survival outcomes among patients across the spectrum of hematologic malignancies during the past decade has been continuing at a rapid pace, with the emergence of novel agents and therapeutic strategies with the potential to change treatment paradigms anew. Multiple Myeloma Five [...]

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Here’s How YOU Can Help Improve the Future of Myeloma & Earn Amazon Rewards

C Space Health is working to improve the lives of those affected by Multiple Myeloma (MM). If you or a loved one have been affected by MM we’d like to invite you to be part of a private online forum dedicated to providing feedback that will be used to influence pharmaceutical makers’ decisions. Within this [...]

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From Medicare/Medicaid Services: Proposal To Modify Coverage for Allo Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Myeloma

MEDICARE COULD COVER ALLO TRANSPLANT FOR MYELOMA BUT WE NEED YOU TO GIVE THEM SOME FEEDBACK BEFORE NOVEMBER 28TH Medicare is working on changing coverage to include allogeneic/donor transplants (Yeah! This is great news!). Today, donor transplants are are not covered by Medicare, even though it can be an effective and even potentially curative approach [...]

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SCT Postcard From the Edge: Surviving My 5-Day Hospital Stay For Myeloma

BY LIZZY SMITH Is there anything more emotionally or physically taxing than a stem cell transplant (SCT)? I know there are many of us myeloma warriors out there who must answer "no." SCTs are intense and hard, emotionally and physically. And I knew this because I did tandem transplants in 2012. Honestly, I was so [...]

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Patient Power: How To Handle The Emotional Aspects of a Cancer Diagnosis

Dealing with Anger and Stress After a Cancer Diagnosis from Patient Power on Vimeo. Few things are more frightening than hearing the words "You have cancer." Anger. Depression. Sadness. Fear. These are just a few emotions one contends with at diagnosis and beyond. Here are tips from Patient Power to help identify needs and cope. [...]

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Pembrolizumab In Hematologic Malignancies, Including Multiple Myeloma

A Trial of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in Participants With Blood Cancers (MK-3475-013)(KEYNOTE-013) What is the purpose of this trial? The purpose of this trial is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in hematologic malignancies (myelodysplastic syndrome [MDS], multiple myeloma [MM], Hodgkin's lymphoma [HL], mediastinal large B cell lymphoma [MLBCL], and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma [...]

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Drug Combos Are Key to Optimizing Novel Antibodies in Treating Multiple Myeloma

BY JASON M. BRODERICK for OncLive Optimizing outcomes with novel antibodies, such as elotuzumab (Empliciti) and daratumumab, in multiple myeloma will involve combination regimens with established agents, according to Sagar Lonial, MD, chief medical officer at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  A combination approach can improve responses through mechanisms that, “enhance immune function, enhance receptor [...]

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Costs May Keep Low-Income Patients From Participating In Clinical Trials, Says Study

By Michelle Andrews for Kaiser Health News Cancer patients with lower incomes are a third less likely to be part of clinical trials that could help treat their disease than those whose annual income is at least $50,000, according to a new study. Researchers suggest that covering some of the costs of participating in a research study might enhance [...]

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Improved Care & Survival for Myeloma Patients With End Stage Renal Disease

Incidence of renal replacement therapy for treatment of end-stage renal disease in patients with multiple myeloma has decreased in the last decade, and there have been clinically meaningful improvements in survival among these patients, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In a retrospective cohort study, researchers led [...]

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MedPage Today: Searching For High Risk Precursors In Multiple Myeloma

BY CHARLES BANKHEAD for MedPage Today Evolving definitions of multiple myeloma could lead to a substantial increase in the number of patients requiring evaluation and treatment, studies of monoclonal gammopathies suggested. The fundamental approach to the disease process has changed considerably as a result of new data high-risk conditions and disease characteristics, Shaji Kumar, MD, [...]

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Some Myeloma Patients With del(17p) or t(4:14) Fare Better Than Others

Certain trisomies, when there are three instances of a particular chromosome instead of two, significantly improve overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma with del(17p) or t(4;14) genetic mutations, while the trisomy that causes Down's syndrome was found to worsen overall survival, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Blood has shown. [...]

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Myeloma Survivor Lizzy Smith Enters Stem Cell Transplant #3 With A Skydive

BY LIZZY SMITH Not long ago, I shared with you all my feelings on clinical trials and my willingness to embark on one. Yep, still a BIG HUGE FAN of clinical trials. You can read my opinion right here at Do I Look Like A Guinea Pig that was published on Myeloma Crowd not long ago. [...]

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Scientists Discover How Multiple Myeloma May Progress From MGUS

Researchers in the West Midlands (UK) have made a breakthrough in explaining how multiple myeloma progresses from an often symptomless prior blood disorder to a blood cancer. The findings could lead to more effective treatments and ways to identify those most at risk of progression. All patients diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of the blood-producing [...]

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U.S. Oncology Group Rates Multiple Myeloma Regimens, Including Their Cost

BY DEENA BEASLEY for Reuters The most influential source for U.S. oncology treatment guidelines last week unveiled ratings aimed at helping doctors and patients assess the costs versus benefits of current therapies for two types of blood cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a nonprofit alliance of 26 leading cancer centers, said its new [...]

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BI-505 – Myeloma Enhanced Planned Clinical Trial (To Prevent or Delay Relapse)

A potentially groundbreaking immuno-oncological therapy to prevent or delay relapse in multiple myeloma BioInvent International has announced that the company and its partner, the University of Pennsylvania, have decided to expand their planned clinical Phase II study with the antibody BI-505 by, among other things, including a control group. This will increase the study data [...]

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Does Vitamin C Interfere With Velcade Absorption? Patient Power Answers

From Patient Power At a recent multiple myeloma town meeting, an audience member wanted to know if vitamin C interferes with the absorption of bortezomib (Velcade). Dr. Orlowski explains why patients should be cautious and provides recommendations for vitamin C consumption. Does Vitamin C Block Absorption of Myeloma Treatment? from Patient Power on Vimeo. Please [...]

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I Can’t Wait For A Cure For Myeloma, Can You? If You Can’t Give, You Can Still Be A Soldier

BY GARY PETERSEN I can not wait for a myeloma cure because we just lost a very special person in our IMF support group, and I just want this to STOP. We have a new initiative which is positioned to find a cure for high risk myeloma and I feel it is our best [...]

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Why Do Cancer Survivors Eat So Poorly After Treatment?

Well here is an interesting study about nutrition and cancer. Why do we cancer survivors eat less healthy than others? Nutrition is a critical component to surviving treatment, healing, and living as well as possible in the future. Ignoring what we put in our mouth is a big mistake. We can guess that some of [...]

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MPDL3280A With or Without Lenalidomide For Multiple Myeloma Patients

What is the purpose of this trial? This multicenter, open-label, Phase I study will evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of MPDL3280A alone or in combination with lenalidomide in patients with multiple myeloma who have relapsed or who have undergone autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). The planned duration of this study is approximately 36 months. Trial [...]

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Carfilzomib/Pomalidomide Active in Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

BY LEAH LAWRENCE for Cancer Network A novel regimen of carfilzomib, pomalidomide, and dexamethasone was highly active in a group of heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, according to a small phase I study published in Blood. “The promising overall response rate and durable responses seen in patients, regardless of risk [...]

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Why Elephants Rarely Get Cancer & What It Means For The Future of Treating Disease In Humans

Why elephants rarely get cancer is a mystery that has stumped scientists for decades. A study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and Arizona State University, and including researchers from the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation, may have found the answer. According to the results, published [...]

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It’s Flu Season. 14 Tips For Staying Healthy

With flu and cold season on its way, it is extra important that cancer survivors and caretakers alike take extra precautions to avoid getting sick. Here are our top tips: Wash your hands: Take your time scrubbing your hands with soap. Try reciting the alphabet as you scrub, as it will give you a good [...]

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U.S. Cancer Doctors Drop Pricey Drugs With Little Or No Effect

BY DEENA BEASLEY for Reuters U.S. oncologists, aware that patients are paying more of the costs of expensive cancer drugs, are increasingly declining to prescribe medicines that have scant or no effect, even as a last resort. At least half a dozen drugs, including colon cancer treatments Cyramza, from Eli Lilly & Co, and Stivarga, [...]

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CURE: Inching Toward A Cure For Multiple Myeloma

BY HEATHER MILLAR for Cure With new treatments transforming multiple myeloma into a chronic condition and additional therapies on the horizon, some experts believe a cure is within view. Dana Davis, a 56-year-old school administrator in suburban Atlanta, remembers the rib pain first. “I had an excuse for everything,” Davis says with a laugh. “But [...]

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Patient Power: Can Hydration Influence Hemoglobin Test Evaluation?

Can Hydration Influence Hemoglobin Test Evaluation? Patient Power answers this question: Can Hydration Influence Hemoglobin Test Evaluations? from Patient Power on Vimeo. Dr. Susan Leclair discusses hydration and its potential to influence hemoglobin levels during a test evaluation. Leclair examines the timing of ones ingestion of liquids, food, as well as body movement and deduces [...]

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