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Jim Omel

About Jim Omel

Jim Omel MD is a retired family practice physician from Grand Island, Nebraska who has had myeloma since 1997. He is active in many areas of cancer patient advocacy, with a special interest and focus on multiple myeloma.

Engineered Toxin Bodies (EBTs), a New Treatment Approach for Multiple Myeloma

Our current Immuno-Oncology status Myeloma treatment has improved markedly the last 15 years with many new available treatments.  Patients are living much longer and have good therapeutic options for induction therapy and relapsed disease.  The newest and most promising treatments have occurred in immunotherapy or IO (Immuno-Oncology).  During myeloma’s “November to Remember” in 2015 patients [...]

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Dear Doctor, My Common Symptoms Could be Multiple Myeloma, by Jim Omel, MD

Dear Doctor, I write as one of you, a Family Practice physician for 25 years.  I dealt with the same vague CC's which you do: "Why am I so tired"?, Why don't I feel good"?, and "Why does my back still hurt"?  Near the end of my practice I missed an important Dx......my own......by failing [...]

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The Best Time to Take Dexamethasone… and Why

I am often asked, “When is the best time of day to take my dex….morning, mid-day, or bedtime”?  Let’s explore the answer from the aspect of normal human physiology. Cortisol is an adrenocorticoid produced each day by the adrenal gland.  It is essential to life, is a major factor in controlling our reaction to stress, [...]

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Clinical Trial: The MASTER Trial

Those of us who’ve lived with cancer understand the necessity and value of clinical trials.  Without them cancer care would never change; treatment would always remain the same. I’ve worked with several ongoing committees and groups to help design and formulate myeloma clinical trials, and am still astounded by the dedication required to get them [...]

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Clinical Trial: Further Insight on INSIGHT Myeloma Observational Clinical Trial

By Jim Omel MD, INSIGHT Steering Committee Member Takeda Oncology’s INSIGHT trial for both newly diagnosed and relapsed myeloma patients continues to make steady progress.   Prospective observational studies such as this have the potential to address critical questions on real-world multiple myeloma outcomes.  Understanding availability and effectiveness of so many new treatment regimens for myeloma is [...]

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Reflections on Myeloma Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria

BY JIM OMEL, MD Every clinician and all educated patients realize the value of myeloma clinical trials to improve current treatment regimens for everyone and to offer new therapeutic approaches to patients nearing the end of their options.  Imagine a patient’s disappointment after researching a potentially promising new trial just to find they are not [...]

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Gaining INSIGHT into Myeloma Treatment Effectiveness

BY JIM OMEL, MD We are very fortunate in myeloma to have good options for frontline, second line, and even third line treatments for our cancer, but it hasn’t always been this way.  In fact most of our backup options have come to us in just the last few years and even our experts don’t [...]

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Helping Others with Myeloma……Passing It On

BY JIM OMEL, MD While myeloma is a devastating and mainly incurable cancer, we now have many innovative ways to treat it.  It is vitally important that each of us understands these new treatments and how they can fit into our individual situations.  I have led a myeloma support group for about 20 years, and [...]

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Beneficial Cytoxan

BY JIM OMEL, MD There is a hierarchy in reporting information from the American Society of Hematology meeting. (1) Plenary sessions present practice-changing topics.  (2) Oral Presentations are carefully chosen from all presented abstracts for their informative value.   We can leisurely read (3) abstracts not selected for presentation, or gather information directly from large hanging [...]

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An Understanding “Thank You” to Both Myeloma Caregivers and Receivers

BY JIM OMEL, MD Caregivers are the quiet strength and support behind most myeloma patients. In a recent Myeloma Beacon article (“Myeloma in Paradise: How Much Caregiving Is Too Much”) Tom Shell explained caregiving and the great amount of love and concern required to care for his 76 year old father with multiple sclerosis and [...]

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An Update on INSIGHT Global Study (for Myeloma Treatment Effectiveness and Outcomes)

BY JIM OMEL In July, 2016 I explained INSIGHT, a truly global study of treatment and outcome data for myeloma patients gathered from around the world. The goal of this ambitious undertaking is to accrue 5000 patients over 3 years and follow their various treatments and outcomes for 5 years (an 8 year study estimated [...]

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Minimal Residual Disease in Multiple Myeloma

BY JIM OMEL, MD Much has been written about MRD (Minimal Residual Disease) in multiple myeloma.  MRD is certainly in the news and will be even more so in the future.  Treatment of multiple myeloma has improved tremendously in the last few years.  Essentially every patient responds to treatment, but at differing depths of response [...]

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The Fickleness and Unpredictability of Multiple Myeloma

BY JIM OMEL One of the most predictable things about myeloma is its devious unpredictability.  Why do half the people who get this cancer die within 5 years, despite receiving the best treatment they can find? Why do the other 50% live longer than 5 years, some much longer? A member of my support group [...]

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Myeloma Maintenance Therapy…How Long?

BY JIM OMEL Thousands of multiple myeloma patients finish treatment and begin maintenance therapy. The pressing question for us all is "How long should it be continued?" Myeloma is a devastating cancer still considered incurable. However effective therapies have given many of us extra years of quality life. Expectations of newly diagnosed patients today are [...]

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New Global Study (INSIGHT) to Look At Effectiveness of Myeloma Treatments and Outcomes

BY JIM OMEL, MD Treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) has changed significantly in the last few years.  Four new drugs were approved by FDA in 2015 alone and we are quite fortunate to have so many therapeutic options.  Along with these successful treatments come many questions regarding outcome results and quality of life.    How will [...]

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Myeloma Drug Costs and Measures of “Value”

BY JIM OMEL Myeloma patients are living longer before becoming resistant to our therapies, and our lifespans after diagnosis are being extended.  We are thrilled with several new highly effective treatments recently approved and know that even more drugs and treatment approaches (think immunotherapy) are moving toward FDA approval.  We also know that our drugs [...]

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Palliative Care in Hematologic Malignancies

BY JIM OMEL Multiple myeloma is a complex cancer whose treatment is constantly evolving.  New immunomodulator (iMiD) and proteasome inhibitor (PI) drugs as well as promising immunotherapy approaches give us more reason for optimism than just a few years ago.  Aggressive treatment such as transplantation can increase our overall survival (OS) time.   Still despite all [...]

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Oncology Clinical Pathways….What Patients Should Know

BY JIM OMEL In myeloma we have a multitude of potential treatments for each phase of our disease, and have thankfully now come far beyond the days of Melphalan and Prednisone. How do doctors decide which treatment course to suggest for us? Our general state of health, lab values, aggressiveness of disease, patient preferences, and [...]

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Why Multiple Myeloma Clinical Trials do NOT Accrue Patients

BY JIM OMEL Essentially every advancement in myeloma therapy has occurred because a clinical trial has proven the value of a better drug or treatment approach.  Without clinical trials, we would not have Revlimid, Velcade, Kyprolis, pomalidomide, Ninlaro, daratumumab, elotuzumab, and on and on….  None of them!  Without clincial studies we will never get exciting [...]

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CancerLinQ, Myeloma, and the Commonality of All Cancers

BY JIM OMEL, MD Cancer patients will hear more and more about “Big Data” informational technology projects. One of the most important of these initiatives is CancerLinQ by ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology). This innovative data-driven system will exponentially increase our collective knowledge of patient treatment outcomes. The motivation for ASCO to make CancerLinQ [...]

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