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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.

Medicare Coverage – Is It Enough for Multiple Myeloma CAR T Therapies?

Medicare covers many cancer treatments, but is the coverage enough in the age of new immunotherapies like CAR T? This topic was addressed in a recent New York Times article where Medicare is trying to balance newer treatments with cost.   According to the article:  Cancer patients, doctors and drug companies are urging the Trump administration [...]

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Our Next Show: Multiple Myeloma Intravenous Vitamin C and Melphalan Study with Yogesh Jethava, MD, University of Iowa, Thursday, April 18 @ 2 pm Central

Thursday, April 18, 2019 @ Noon Pacific, 1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer. A new clinical trial is open combining low dose melphalan, a drug commonly used at high doses for stem cell transplant, and high dose intravenous [...]

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Kappa or Lambda Myeloma Testing. Is there a Difference?

Every myeloma patient has immunoglobulin tests run to watch their kappa, lambda and kappa/lambda ratio numbers. It's one of the most important labs to watch if you are a myeloma patient. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that fight infection. In myeloma, one of these antibodies grows out of control. The Y shaped antibodies have both a heavy [...]

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New Target for CAR T Therapy in Multiple Myeloma: GPRC5D

While many CAR T treatments are being developed for a target called B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), relapse still occurs in many patients. As the BCMA trials move up to earlier stages of disease, outcomes may be improve but newer targets are being explored. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers are working to develop a CAR [...]

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Blood Changes After Pesticide Exposure in Multiple Myeloma

Recent findings of male participants in the Agricultural Health Study showed that certain blood levels can change after someone has been exposed to the pesticide permethrin and that those changes can persist for at least 3 weeks. The study was shared at the AACR conference (American Association for Cancer Research) happening in Atlanta this week.  [...]

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Takeda Oncology’s 1Point Patient Assistance Program

There are several patient assistance programs available by pharmaceutical companies but many patients don’t know that they exist. Takeda Oncology has a program called Takeda 1Point that can help you obtain financial assistance. Here’s more about what the program covers and how you access the help.  If You’re Waiting on Insurance Approval If you are [...]

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HealthTree for Multiple Myeloma Featured on the Today Show

March 20, 2019 The Today Show featured Jenny and Paul Ahlstrom as they described a new patient platform they created called HealthTree. The mission of HealthTree is to help doctors, researchers and patients better collaborate around each patient's treatment options, with the hope that connecting the patient data will accelerate a cure for myeloma.  A [...]

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Abbvie Halts New Patient Recruitment for Venetoclax Trials in Multiple Myeloma

AbbVie announced that the FDA has placed a partial clinical hold on all clinical trials using venetoclax in multiple myeloma. The hold was placed based on data from the Phase 3 BELLINI trial (a study for relapsed/refractory myeloma) in which a higher proportion of deaths were observed in the venetoclax arm compared to the control [...]

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HealthTree – Connecting Cancer Patients for Better Health on FM100.3

Healthtree- Connecting Cancer Patients for Better Health, FM100.3 November 10, 2018 https://fm100.com/category/podcast_player/?a=33486&sid=2052&n=Utah+Weekly+Forum+with+Rebecca+Cressman When people are diagnosed with cancer, their search for information, research and treatment options can be overwhelming. Yet, access to the most recent and relevant data can be lifesaving and life preserving. In this episode of Utah Weekly Forum, Myeloma patient, Jenny Ahlstrom, joins FM100.3's Rebecca Cressman to explain [...]

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New HDAC Inhibitor for Multiple Myeloma In Early Chinese Study

A new HDAC inhibitor called CS3003 is now in a Phase I study in China for multiple myeloma patients. It is considered to be a HDAC6 inhibitor which is different from the pan-HDAC inhibitors approved in the US for myeloma like panobinostat.  Dr. Jon Wang, Chief Scientific Officer of CStone said:  "The selective inhibition of [...]

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Using the New Treatment Combo for Multiple Myeloma (Elotuzumab Pomalidomide and Dex) in the Clinic

In November of 2018, the FDA approved a new combination for the use of elotuzumab - this time in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone. The approval was granted based on the results from the ELOQUENT-3 study showing that elo, pom and dex had better outcomes than pom and dex alone. Elotuzumab is typically never used [...]

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Being Minimal Residual Disease Negative Before or After Transplant Means Better Overall Survival for Myeloma Patients

Patients who are minimal residual disease negative (or have no detectable myeloma) before or after their stem cell transplant have better progression free survival than patients with detectable disease, according to a recent study.  Theresa Hahn, PhD, from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York presented the results at the recent Transplantation and Cellular Therapy [...]

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Myeloma Awareness Month: What Patients Need to Know to Improve Their Myeloma Survival

This month is Multiple Myeloma awareness month! Myeloma is a disease that most of us had never heard of before, yet it's pretty amazing to see how many people know someone who has myeloma or smoldering myeloma once you start sharing that you have the disease. This month, the Myeloma Crowd is taking a practical [...]

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Strategies to Overcome CAR T Cell Exhaustion in Multiple Myeloma

As CAR T therapy becomes more prevalent in the clinic, doctors are beginning to see how T cells can become too tired to fight the cancer in some patients. Scientists at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology (LJI) have found a way of counteracting this exhaustion to make the CAR T therapies work better. In [...]

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Bike the Coast June 2019 – An Epic Cycling Event From San Francisco to San Diego to Fund Myeloma Research

Join us this summer to Bike the Coast to raise funds for multiple myeloma research! This epic event will include a ride from San Francisco to San Diego - 100 miles a day for 6 days. Ride as much or as little as you'd like. We have each day mapped out and participants can ride [...]

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FDA Denies Early Access to Selinexor/Dex in Multiple Myeloma

Karyopharm received a vote yesterday denying early approval for the combination of Selinexor/dexamethasone at the FDA briefing meeting to the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC), or the committee that provides recommendations to the FDA. The FDA typically votes with ODAC recommendations, but a formal vote will be coming on April 8, 2019.  Karyopharm hoped that the [...]

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Full Show: A New CD38 Monocloncal Antibody Called Isatuximab Gets Closer to the Clinic, with Ravi Vij, MD, Washington University

Ravi Vij, MD Washington University Interview Date: February 6, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary A new CD38 targeted monoclonal antibody is coming soon to the myeloma clinic. A new drug called isatuximab is making its way through the FDA approval process. Learn how it will be used in combinations, how it [...]

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Gilead Drops Kite Multiple Myeloma CAR T Development

Gilead released fourth quarter results that removed an anti-BCMA cell therapy for multiple myeloma from it's pipeline, part of its $12 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma. The decision to drop the KITE-585-CAR T programs indicates the ever growing competition in the BCMA-targeted therapy for myeloma and represents a loss of $820M in investment.  Other anti-BCMA [...]

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Full Show: Myeloma Progress in 2018 and a Look to the Future in Multiple Myeloma with Dr. Robert Z. Orlowski, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Robert Z. Orlowski, MD, PhD MD Anderson Cancer Center  Interview Date: January 8, 2019 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary There is a tremendous amount of progress being made in multiple myeloma. It was stunning to see the significant work being done in the field of myeloma at the recent American Society of [...]

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Isatuximab Prolongs Progression Free Survival for Relapsed/Refractory Patients

A new monoclonal antibody targeting CD38 has been working its way through clinical trials. In the Phase 3 trial, Isatuximab was found to prolong progression free survival when combined with pomalidomide and dexamethasone compared to pomalidomide and dexamethasone alone.   The study, known as ICARIA-MM, enrolled 307 patients with relapsed/refractory myeloma. All participants had received [...]

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Our Next Show: A New CD-38 Targeted Monoclonal Antibody Isatuximab with Dr. Ravi Vij, MD, Washington University, Wednesday, February 6 @ 2 pm Central

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 @ Noon Pacific, 1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer. A new monoclonal antibody called Isatuximab is advancing through clinical trials and is getting closer to FDA approval. This antibody targets CD38. Learn more from [...]

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What Is Relapsed vs. Refractory Myeloma?

There are so many myeloma phrases, terminology and acronyms that things can get incredibly confusing. Let's talk about Relapsed Myeloma (sort of self explanatory) and Refractory Myeloma (need a refresher course on this one!). Relapsed Myeloma  According to Dr. Sagar Lonial, MD of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, Relapsed Myeloma "specifically includes patients [...]

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Clinical Trial: Overall Survival Lengthened for Relapsed/Refractory Myeloma Patients Using CLR 131 Cancer-Targeted Therapy

Myeloma patients who had relapsed after receiving both a proteasome inhibitor (like Velcade) and immunomodulator (like Revlimid) participated in a Phase I study of a new drug called CLR 131 and experienced an average 22 month overall survival.   While no head-to-head treatment comparisons have been performed, a 2016 article in the journal Bone Marrow Transplantation showed that [...]

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The Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) 2019 Scientific Summit (With a New Myeloma Dream Team)

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) hosted it's 9th annual Scientific Summit in Santa Monica, CA. SU2C is a non-profit funding important cancer research and was started in 2008 by a group of women who had been affected by cancer and believed that by merging the resources of the media and entertainment industries into a single operation [...]

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Minimal Residual Disease Test Gets Medicare Coverage Approval for Myeloma Patients

The first minimal residual disease (MRD) test in multiple myeloma and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has received coverage approval for Medicare patients. The MRD test called ClonoSEQ, from Adaptive Biotechnologies can detect lower levels of multiple myeloma than traditional tests. MRD is a measurement of the remaining number of cancer cells that are present in a [...]

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Clinical Trial: GVAX Vaccine with Revlimid To Extend Remission

A new GVAX vaccine is being used in a clinical trial for myeloma patients who have achieved good responses to therapy. The goal of the trial is to extend remissions and potentially deepen responses to a minimal residual disease (MRD) negative state. This vaccine was tested earlier in Phase I studies by Dr. Ivan Borrello [...]

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Creating Your Most Valuable Plan (MVP) in Multiple Myeloma with David Winfield and Don Baylor Jr.

Being proactive about your myeloma care is essential in getting your best outcomes. The Myeloma Crowd interviewed Dave Winfield and Don Baylor Jr. to share how Don Baylor handled the highs and lows of multiple myeloma and the importance of creating your Most Valuable Plan. Learn more about this Amgen program on www.myelomaexplained.com and in [...]

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Activating the Immune System to Eat Cancer Cells

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to encourage the immune system to eat cancer cells. Immune system cells called macrophages are large white blood cells that locate and 'eat" invader particles such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. According to the researchers, cancer has found ways to put these macrophages to [...]

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Full Show: Personalized Myeloma Treatment Using 3D Tumor Modeling

Cesar Rodriguez, MD,  Wake Forest University  Interview Date: December 14, 2018 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary Each myeloma patient’s tumor is unique and can change over time. Dr. Rodriguez is using a new 3D organoid tumor modeling platform which allows the testing of over 50 myeloma treatment combinations against your specific tumor [...]

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Quad Therapy Clinical Trial Open for Relapsed Multiple Myeloma Using a Virus, Checkpoint Inhibitor, Carfilzomib and Dex

The destructive nature of viruses is now being applied to kill cancer cells. A new immuno-oncoloytic virus called pelareorep (Reolysin) is now being tested in a clinical trial in addition to three other drugs for relapsed multiple myeloma.  The harmless virus has been modified to infect and destroy cancer cells, but not normal cells. It [...]

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ASH 2018: One Myeloma Transplant vs. Two? That is the Question

As long as I have a member of the myeloma patient community there has always been discussion of the role of transplant as well as the number of transplants.  Two prior studies had shown exactly opposite conclusions. Both study had differing designs, however both had elements of Velcade/Revlimid/Dex (VRD) induction, and as have previously found [...]

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ASH 2018: New Advances in CAR T Studies with Damian Green, MD

At the recent American Society of Hematology meeting (ASH), Dr. Damian Green joined the Myeloma Crowd to share two CAR T studies he is working on.  He shared data on the Juno/Celgene study that showed rapid and good responses for patients with an average 11 lines of prior therapy for a BCMA targeted CAR T [...]

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Full Show: Identifying and Killing Myeloma Cells That Cause Myeloma and Relapse with MCRI Award Winner Dr. Frank Zhan and Dr. Yogesh Jethava

Fenghauang (Frank) Zhan, PhD Yogesh Jethava, MD University of Iowa Interview Date: December 11, 2018 Thanks to our episode sponsor Summary What cells cause myeloma and why do patients relapse after treatment? Myeloma stem cells may be part of the answer.  Fenghauang (Frank) Zhan, PhD was recently selected as a Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative [...]

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A New, Cheaper and More Useful Test to Detect Multiple Myeloma?

A new test called mass spectometry (MASS-FIX) is a quick, inexpensive and accurate way to diagnose and monitor the blood and urine of patients with multiple myeloma. Today, doctors use immunofixation, M-protein and light chain tests to test if patients have myeloma and how much of it they have. But these tests can vary and [...]

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ASH 2018: Four-Drug Combo with Carfilzomib vs. Triplets Before Transplant

Graham Jackson, MD, PhD of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research in the United Kingdom (and colleagues) shared study results at the recent ASH 2018 comparing a four drug combination vs. a sequence of three drug combinations as induction therapy before stem cell transplant. The UK has an incredible amount of data about myeloma patients [...]

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Day 9 of Myeloma Giving: Donate to Myeloma Research

Day 9 of Myeloma Giving: Donate to Myeloma Research From December 10 – 22, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and family to participate. Each day we will share something you can give to lift others. These gifts will save lives, lengthen lives and makes lives [...]

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Clinical Trial: Isatuximab with RVD for Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patients

Revlimid, Velcade and dexamethasone (RVD) is a standard combination for newly diagnosed patients whether they are headed to transplant or not. A study is now open using a new CD38 monoclonal antibody called Isatuximab in combination with the "standard" therapy of RVD for newly diagnosed myeloma patients who do not qualify for a bone marrow [...]

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ASH 2018: What to Do at Myeloma Relapse

Ajai Chari, MD, PhD of Mount Sinai spoke at the Friday session of the recent American Society of Hematology Meeting about strategies for myeloma relapse. He said that factors one should consider include age, fitness status, pre-existing medical conditions, how fast the myeloma numbers are rising and then the depth and duration of previous responses. [...]

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Day 8 of Myeloma Giving: Sharing the Gift of Myeloma Crowd Round Tables and Live Patient Education

Day 8 of Myeloma Giving: Sharing the Gift of Myeloma Crowd Round Tables and Live Patient Education  From December 10 – 21, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and family to participate. Each day we will share something you can give to lift [...]

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Day 6 of Myeloma Giving: The Science of Giving

Have you ever heard the saying “Only the good die young?”  Recent science, however, has proven that the opposite is true! The “good” are living longer, and science is finding empirical evidence that connects an attitude of giving with increased healing, longevity and overall happiness.  A new science of health and giving is emerging. Over [...]

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Which Multiple Myeloma Patients May Do Well with the Measles Vaccine?

Multiple myeloma patient Stacy Erholtz's stunning response to the Mayo Clinic's measles vaccine in 2015 for her multi-relapsed multiple myeloma was a surprise to everyone, including Stacy. But when the vaccine was used in other myeloma patients, they did not see similar responses. Why? A new study by myeloma French researchers showed that myeloma patients with [...]

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Day 5 of Myeloma Giving: Give the Gift of PROMISE Towards a Cure (Donate a Blood Sample)

Day 5 of Myeloma Giving: Give the Gift of PROMISE Towards a Cure (Donate a Blood Sample) From December 10 – 21, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and family to participate. Each day we will share something you can give to lift [...]

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Perspectives from Tom Brokaw: From NBC to ASH

Tom Brokaw visited the recent American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting and took some time to share his personal myeloma story.  He opened up about cancer,  how he feels about community and his love for our country. When Tom was diagnosed in 2013 at the age 74 he faced his diagnosis as he does everything [...]

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Day 4 of Myeloma Giving: Give Gratitude for Multiple Myeloma Progress

Day 4 of Myeloma Giving: Give Gratitude for Multiple Myeloma Progress From December 10 – 21, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and family to participate. Each day we will share something you can give to lift others. These gifts will save lives, [...]

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Day 2 of Myeloma Giving: Share Your Myeloma Story

Day 2 of Myeloma Giving: Share your Myeloma Story From December 10 - 21, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and family to participate. Each day we will share something you can give to lift others. These gifts will save lives, lengthen lives [...]

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Our Next Show: MCRI Award Winner 3D Tumor Modeling Matching Myeloma Treatments with Your Tumor with Cesar Rodriguez, MD, Wake Forest University, Friday, Dec 14 @ 3 pm Eastern

Friday, December 14, 2018 @ Noon Pacific, 1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern Call In by Phone to Listen Live: (347) 637-2631 or Listen Live Via Computer. Each myeloma patient's tumor is unique and can change over time. Dr. Rodriguez is using a new 3D organoid tumor modeling platform which allows the [...]

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Can Cancer Medicine Be Precise AND Personal?

Precision medicine is a catch-phrase that is all the rage nowadays. It’s becoming clearer that medicine is not one-size-fits-all. For example, a treatment that helps shrink one person’s tumor or eases their arthritis symptoms doesn’t always work for somebody else. This is especially true in cancer, where a patient's experience is more than their genetic [...]

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Day 1 of Myeloma Giving: I Don’t Have Melanoma, I Have Multiple Myeloma

Day 1 of Myeloma Giving: Share the gift of accurate information with your friends and family. I don't have the skin cancer melanoma, I have a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. From December 10 - 21, the Myeloma Crowd is sharing 12 Days of Myeloma Giving. Please share this post and invite your friends and [...]

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12 Days of Myeloma Giving with the Myeloma Crowd

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I think we all know that the most appreciated gifts are those that we give from the heart. These gifts are usually simple acts of service - a listening ear, a smile or note of concern. Philosophers know that giving is key to our own sense of [...]

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