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Jenny A

About Jenny A

Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical trials. Founder of Myeloma Crowd, Myeloma Crowd Radio and the CrowdCare Foundation.

A Single T Cell Therapy for All Cancers? British Researchers Make a Key Discovery.

Cardiff University researchers have discovered a new a new type of T cell that can kill a variety of cancers, with the hope of creating a general "one-size-fits-all" T cell therapy.  CAR T cell therapy today is commonly "customized" for each cancer patient using their own T cells. A patient has their immune system cells [...]

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ASH 2019: Chemotherapy Melflufen Moves Through Myeloma Clinical Trials

Many myeloma patients are familiar with the chemotherapy called melphalan, which is regularly used as part of the stem cell transplant process. A Swedish company called Oncopeptides AB is developing a new type of similar, but different therapy, that improves the impact of the drug while lowering side effects. Melflufen is also a chemotherapy, but [...]

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Full Show: Myeloma Care in Patients Over 65 with Tanya Wildes, MD, Siteman Cancer Center

Tanya Wildes, MD Siteman Cancer Center  Interview Date: November 6, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary How does treatment for multiple myeloma change with age? Hear Dr. Tanya Wildes describe how care for elder myeloma patients can be modified and even optimized. She stresses that age is less of a factor when [...]

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Myeloma Highlights From ASH: Jack Aiello’s Super Summary

According to myeloma patient advocate Jack Aiello (definitely not medically trained) (Glossary of terms are below) PREFACE This is my 14th year attending ASH (American Society of Hematology), where over 30,000 attendees from all over the world (hematologists/oncologists, lab researchers, oncology nurses, scientists & 300 pharma companies) present the latest research results via both oral [...]

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ASH 2019: Minimal Residual Disease as a New Clinical Trial End Point

Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) testing is a way of testing how much disease is left after myeloma therapy. MRD testing is now being used more often in the clinic to gauge how well a treatment worked and researchers are hopeful that MRD testing will help clinical trials move along faster. With more myeloma therapies in [...]

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1Q Gain Multiple Myeloma is Sensitive to Specific Drug Targeting

"High risk" multiple myeloma may not always be considered high risk if a specific treatment can be found for it.    In multiple myeloma, genetic or DNA mutations can change the way your myeloma behaves. For example, some myeloma patients can have three copies of chromosomes on their myeloma cells instead of the normal two [...]

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Cambia Grove Event January 22, 2019 in Salt Lake City: Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD Author of An American Sickness

Cambia Grove Utah welcomes Elisabeth Rosenthal for a discussion surrounding the U.S. health care system. On January 22, Cambia Grove Utah and host Jennifer Napier-Pearce, Editor at the Salt Lake Tribune, are pleased to welcome Elisabeth Rosenthal, award-winning reporter, former physician, and author of An American Sickness – How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take [...]

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Patient Power: Myeloma Treatment in the Age of Immunotherapies

Watch the Patient Power Video   What does myeloma treatment look like in the age of immunotherapies? Jenny Ahlstrom, Founder of the Myeloma Crowd hosts three amazing myeloma specialists including Dr. Nina Shah (UCSF), Dr. Faith Davies (NYU) and Dr. Larry Anderson (UT Southwestern) who join the panel for a Patient Power discussion about [...]

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My Dream Is That Multiple Myeloma Will One Day Be in My Past and No Longer a Part of My Future

As seen on the ASCO Post Through my advocacy, I’m contributing to making a cure possible for myself and others. By Jenny Ahlstrom as told to Jo Cavallo December 25, 2019   Jenny Ahlstrom A year before my diagnosis of multiple myeloma, in 2010, my husband Paul and I moved with our six children to [...]

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ASH 2019: An All-Oral Approach for Smoldering Myeloma Patients

Smoldering myeloma was a hot topic at the recent American Society of Hematology meeting, Researchers are especially intent on discussing how to treat high risk smoldering myeloma - or patients who are most likely to progress to active myeloma within a 24 month period. A multitude of approaches are being used from single drugs to [...]

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ASH 2019: New Myeloma Combinations Bring Hope for Relapsed Patients

One of the late breaking sessions at the American Society of Hematology meeting included results from a study looking at a completely new combination - carfilzomib, daratumumab and dexamethasone. The combination looks promising for patients who have become resistant to immunomodulators such as lenalidomide. This is significant because myeloma treatment is typically given with a [...]

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Who are Myeloma Coaches? Adult Children can be Coaches Too.

Myeloma Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds.  Coaches may be a myeloma patient themselves, a caregiver, adult child or an extended family member of a myeloma patient.  Each Coach has played a role in a myeloma journey whether their own or with someone they care about.  While their roles may be different, each have [...]

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What is the Risk Classification of the 11;14 Translocation in Myeloma? A Twitter Thread Explains.

Rafael Fonseca, MD is the Chair of Myeloma at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and recently shared a Twitter thread (of 26 tweets) that asked the question "What is the Risk Classification of the t(11;14) in multiple myeloma? He then told the story with examples and data of venetoclax - the first drug to show [...]

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ASH 2019: More Use of Daratumumab in Multiple Myeloma Combination Therapies

Many of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) presentations in myeloma included information about daratumumab. We covered some of the findings in an earlier article about the Griffin study and daratumumab with weekly carfilzomib.  Dr. Robert Rifkin joined the Myeloma Crowd at ASH to share a new combination for daratumumab that does NOT include an [...]

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ASCO Post: A Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma Taught Me to Live in the Moment

By Richard Hite, as told to Jo Cavallo ASCO Post November 25, 2019 I was just 39 in 2015 when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I have a wife and three young children whom I love, a challenging and fulfilling career, and I wasn’t ready to die. When I was first diagnosed, I met [...]

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ASH 2019: A Wealth of CAR T Development in Myeloma

There is so much CAR T development happening in myeloma, it's hard to keep track of it all. One of the sessions discussed relapsed and refractory myeloma strategies and almost all of the discussion centered around CAR T.  Siddhartha Ganguly, MD of the University of Kansas shares the importance of CAR T trials and those [...]

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ASH 2019: Targeting BCMA in Multiple Myeloma

B-cell maturation agent (BCMA) is a very popular target for multiple myeloma therapies currently in development. Gareth Morgan, MD, FRCP, FRCPath, PhD of NYU Langone joins the Myeloma Crowd at ASH to review the BCMA-targeting therapies being reviewed at the meeting.   There are three key immunotherapy approaches that all look highly effective for the [...]

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ASH 2019: Early or Delayed Stem Cell Transplant in Multiple Myeloma

The Friday symposiums before the American Society of Hematology meeting are some of the best reasons to attend the conference. In one morning session, several myeloma "debates" were presented with two doctors each taking a contrasting opinion. The debate still rages - should myeloma patients go immediately to transplant or wait until they relapse?  Amrita [...]

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A Better Way to Detect Track Multiple Myeloma Using a New Blood Test

Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Some of the white blood cells can leave the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. This is called circulating plasma cells (or cCPCs) but there are only limited tests available today to detect these CPCs and they are not entirely reliable. CPCs in [...]

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Depression in Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patients

About 6.7% of the population in the United States has depression and it can have an impact on long-term outcomes when a blood cancer diagnosis is layered on. Multiple myeloma patients who are dealing with depression when diagnosed don't live as long as other myeloma patients, according to a new study. A group of Japanese [...]

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Levofloxacin Before Stem Cell Transplant Reduces Infections and Death in Newly Diagnosed Myeloma

  Using the antibiotic levofloxacin prior to stem cell transplant reduces death in newly diagnosed myeloma patients, according to a new study by UK myeloma research collaborators and Myeloma UK.   Infection is the leading cause of death for myeloma patients because the myeloma critically depresses the immune system. In the United Kingdom, there are [...]

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Ninlaro Extends Survival as Maintenance Therapy for Transplant Ineligible Patients

Phase III results of a recent study (TOURMALINE-MM4) show that Ninlaro (ixazomib) can prolong survival when used as maintenance therapy for multiple myeloma patients who are not fit enough to receive a stem cell transplant. Ninlaro is in a class of drugs called proteasome inhibitors. Revlimid (lenalomide), an immumomodulator, is commonly used in today's myeloma [...]

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Full Show: Weighing Cancer Cells for Personalized Myeloma Therapy with Clifford Reid, PhD, Travera

Clifford Reid, PhD Travera  Interview Date: October 23, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary Can you tell how well a myeloma treatment might work on your personal tumor by weighing the cancer cells? Clifford Reid, PhD and CEO of Travera shares a new approach to "personalized medicine" in multiple myeloma. Cancer cells [...]

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Lenalidomide Can Delay Bone and Organ Damage for Smoldering Myeloma Patients

In the largest ever study of smoldering myeloma patients from 13 major myeloma facilities, lenalidomide was found to delay disease progression, and helped prevent bone damage and end organ damage. The study was run by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and funded by the National Cancer Institute. The study included 182 intermediate or high risk [...]

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First Patient Dosed with Off-The-Shelf Donor CAR T Cell Therapy Targeting CS1

A new CAR T treatment has been delivered to the first myeloma patient, using an off-the-shelf approach with donor T cells aimed at a new target, CS1. Most CAR T cell therapies in today's multiple myeloma clinical trials are "autologous," meaning they use the patient's own T cells. Many CAR T cell therapies in Phase [...]

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Our Next Show: Modifying Multiple Myeloma Care for Elderly or Frail Patients with Tanya Wildes, MD of Washington University, Wednesday, Nov 6 @ Noon Central

Wednesday, November 6 @ 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, Noon Central, 1 pm Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer Many myeloma patients are elderly, with the average age of diagnosis being 68. If individuals are fit and active, they can typically receive the "standard of [...]

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Live Longer with Multiple Myeloma Because You See a Myeloma Specialist

We’ve seen data before by the Mayo Clinic and the University of North Carolina showing that multiple myeloma patients who are seen by a myeloma specialist live longer. A new, recent study  supports these findings.  A state cancer registry linked to public and private insurance claims was used to identify 1029 myeloma patients from 2006 [...]

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Sports Anchor and Multiple Myeloma Patient Rod Gilmore Joins Amgen’s Myeloma MVP™ Team

Having a treatment plan is essential for all myeloma patients, regardless of where you are at in your treatment journey. College football anchor Rod Gilmore, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July 2016, knows how challenging a new diagnosis can be and is partnering with Amgen Oncology as part of this year’s Myeloma MVP team. [...]

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On Loss and Love in Multiple Myeloma: A Tribute to Three Myeloma Advocates

It has been a difficult time in the past few weeks. We have lost three incredible myeloma patient advocates who have helped their fellow myeloma patients in their own unique way. My heart hurts. I am honored to have known them all and have found it difficult in the past few days to find the [...]

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MCRI Research Update: Testing Your Individual Tumor Against Available Myeloma Therapies with Cesar Rodriguez, MD, Wake Forest

Donate to the MCRI Today   The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) taps into the power of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to find and fund the best ideas, research and clinical applications leading to new myeloma treatments or potential cures. Currently, the MCRI is funding three research projects:  Dr. Chung, MD, PhD - Creating an [...]

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MCRI Research Update: Creating an Immune System Signature for Myeloma Patients to Predict Response to Treatment with David Chung, MD, MSKCC

Donate to the MCRI Today   The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) taps into the power of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to find and fund the best ideas, research and clinical applications leading to new myeloma treatments or potential cures. Currently, the MCRI is funding three research projects:  Dr. Chung, MD, PhD - Creating an [...]

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Our Next Show: Weighing Cancer Cells for Personalized Myeloma Therapy with Clifford Reid, PhD, Travera

Wednesday, October 23 @ 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, Noon Central, 1 pm Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer How much does a cancer cell weigh? And why does it matter? As cancer cells die, they change their weight (or mass) in a matter of [...]

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Full Show: Delivering Targeted Radiotherapy to Myeloma Cells – CLR 131 with Natalie Callander, MD, University of Wisconsin

Natalie Callander, MD University of Wisconsin  Interview Date: September 30, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary Cancer cells have a different thickness of cell membrane than normal cells. A new treatment is exploiting that difference by delivering a targeted therapy to just the cancer cells while avoiding the normal cells. Cellectar is [...]

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Increased Infection Risk in MGUS Patients

A short article was just published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging that discusses the effectiveness of vaccination of MGUS patients with Prevnar (Pfizer’s 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine). The article provides some cautions for MGUS patients, such as: ‘Numerous studies have confirmed the association of MGUS with infections, particularly pneumonia, infections caused by viruses [...]

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Earlier Detection of Multiple Myeloma Prevents Bone Damage and Extends Life

Earlier detection of multiple myeloma before bone damage occurs extends lives, according to a Swedish study presented at the 17th International Myeloma Workshop.  In the study, researchers used the Swedish Cancer Register to gather information on 14,013 myeloma patients such as birthdate, myeloma diagnosis date, fractures and death dates. A model was used to estimate [...]

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A Reason Why Myeloma Patients Might Become Resistant to Bortezomib

Israeli researchers identified why multiple myeloma may become resistant to Velcade (bortezomib) by studying the complex signaling that happens in the bone marrow environment. Velcade is a proteasome inhibitor and is a standard treatment for the disease. Velcade is used for induction therapy, in combination therapies and also as maintenance therapy. Although it prolongs survival, [...]

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IMW 2019: MRD and CAR T Cell Updates

The key word is "hope" from the recent IMW 2019 meeting, according to myeloma specialist Mohamad Mohty, MD, PhD, Professor of Hematology and head of the Hematology and Cellular Therapy Department at the Saint-Antoine Hospital at University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris, France. Dr. Mohty shared two topics he believes stood out at the meeting:  MRD Testing [...]

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Myeloma Crowd Launches a Psoriasis / Multiple Myeloma Study Using Its HealthTree® Platform

As seen on PRNewswire HealthTree IRB-Approved Data Study to Identify Potential Correlations Between Diseases SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Myeloma Crowd™, a division of the CrowdCare Foundation, today announced the launch of a new study to identify correlations between psoriasis and multiple myeloma. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease of the skin and multiple [...]

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IMW 2019: The New GSK Antibody Drug Conjugate in Myeloma

An antibody drug conjugate is a type of immunotherapy being explored in multiple myeloma. Glaxo-Smith Klein is developing a new antibody drug conjugate in myeloma called Belantamab mafodotin (or "belmaf" for short). These drugs use the immune system to find the right myeloma-specific target and then drop a toxic payload in a targeted way. At [...]

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Full Show: The World’s Largest Myeloma Screening Study (PROMISE) with Irene Ghobrial, MD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Irene Ghobrial, MD Dana Farber Cancer Institute  Interview Date: September 4, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary The PROMISE study is the world's largest screening study for multiple myeloma and is led by top myeloma researchers Dr. Irene Ghobrial of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Ivan Borrello of Johns Hopkins. [...]

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IMW 2019: Getting Vaccinated Following Stem Cell Transplant with Maximillian Merz, MD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Are myeloma patients still considered "vaccinated" following a stem cell transplant? Dr. Maximillian Merz joins the Myeloma Crowd at the recent IMW meeting in Boston to share recent findings. It is believed that patients should get vaccinated after transplant, but this is the first time that it has been tested to see if patients responded [...]

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Melflufen in Multiple Myeloma Therapy – IMW 2019

Melflufen is an anti-myeloma drug by Octopeptides AB given by IV infusion that is currently in clinical trials. Dr. Paul Richardson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute shared an update on the HORIZON study results at the recent International Myeloma Workshop (IMW) conference in Boston. Melflufen is a new IV therapy currently in clinical trials [...]

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Our Next Show: Cellectar Biosciences’ New Radiosensitive Therapy in Multiple Myeloma with Natalie Callander, MD University of Wisconsin, Monday, Sept 30 @ 10 am Central

Monday, September 30, 2019 @ 8 am Pacific, 9 am Mountain, 10 am Central, 11 am Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer Cellectar Biosciences is working on testing a radiosensitive therapy in blood cancers including multiple myeloma. Their product, CLR 131, targets the myeloma tumors by [...]

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IMW 2019: A Vaccine to Extend Myeloma Remissions with Syed Abbas Ali, MD

When should myeloma vaccines be used for patients? Dr. Syed Abbas Ali, MD of Johns Hopkins Medicine tells us that it's usually when there is a low tumor burden, like after stem cell transplant or when patients are on maintenance and their myeloma is under control.  Dr. Ali shares his Phase II study of a [...]

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IMW 2019: Amrita Krishnan, MD on the Best Myeloma Maintenance Approach After Transplant

What is the best approach for maintenance therapy? How long should patients be on maintenance? Can I stop treatment if I'm minimal residual disease (MRD) negative? These important questions need to be answered if maintenance therapy is going to be applied properly for myeloma patients. Amrita Krishnan, MD, Director of the City of Hope multiple [...]

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Carfilzomib and Daratumumab Combination Proves Utility in CANDOR Study for Relapsed Myeloma Patients

Two relatively newer therapies (carfilzomib and daratumumab) have now been combined with dexamethasone in the Phase III CANDOR study and showed a 37% reduction in the risk of myeloma progression or death for relapsed or refractory myeloma patients treated with the triplet combination. The CANDOR study evaluated 466 relapsed or refractory myeloma patients who had [...]

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Myeloma Crowd Radio: Creating A New Myeloma Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas with William Matsui, MD

William Matsui, MD Dell Medical School LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes  Interview Date: August 20, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary Creating a new multiple myeloma center from scratch is a challenge, but one that Dr. William Matsui has successfully accomplished with the new myeloma center at the Austin, Texas Dell Medical School LIVESTRONG [...]

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3rd Annual Medical College of Wisconsin Multiple Myeloma Symposium, Saturday, September 28th

Register Today On Saturday, September 28, 2019, the Medical College of Wisconsin is hosting its 3rd annual Multiple Myeloma Patient and Caregiver Symposium. The event will be held from 7:00 am - 2:30 pm Central time.  Keynote and Featured speakers are Dr. Rafael Fonseca, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Professor of [...]

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MCRI Research Update: What Cells Keep Myeloma Growing? Myeloma Researchers Find a Target.

Donate to the MCRI Today   The Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative (MCRI) taps into the power of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to find and fund the best ideas, research and clinical applications leading to new myeloma treatments or potential cures. Currently, the MCRI is funding three research projects:  Dr. Chung, MD, PhD - Creating an [...]

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