ASCO 2018: Helpful Guidance, But No Breakthroughs

The abstracts for the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting next month have just been released. Among the 7 oral presentations, 62 posters, and educational sessions focusing on multiple myeloma, no dramatic new findings are reported. But there are several important updates and helpful discussions to guide practicing clinicians and inform patients.

 

The IMF Team in Asia: Connecting With Top Myeloma Experts, Collaborating on New Guidelines, Investigating Promising Research

The IMF team is in Tokyo this week. Susie Durie, Lisa Paik, Dan Navid, and I are here for the 43rd Annual Japanese Myeloma Society Meeting, the oldest of the country-based myeloma meetings globally and one of the most active.

It promises to be a busy week.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to approximately 60 percent of all myeloma patients, so it’s fitting that in the meeting’s keynote lecture, I will address the question we researchers constantly ask: “Can we cure or prevent myeloma?”

 

The Truth About Toxins: New Studies Point to Increased Risk of MGUS in Firefighters Exposed to 9/11 Carcinogens

A new study shows that New York City firefighters who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack are twice as likely to develop the myeloma precursor state MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance). Many cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) were in the air, generated by collapsed skyscrapers, including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), dioxins, asbestos, diesel smoke, and others. It is therefore not surprising to find an increased risk of cancer among those exposed.

 

Black Swan researchers identify good-risk and poor-risk MRD patients, China’s ‘disruptive’ biotech, and reasons to eat ‘real food’

This week, several reports provide good news for myeloma patients. The Spanish GEM/PETHEMA cooperative study group, supported through the Black Swan Research Initiative, has demonstrated important differences between patients with good- and poor-risk MRD-positive disease in a study published in Leukemia.

 

 

Toxic Exposures Unleashed

I have previously discussed ways to prevent myeloma.  A key step is to avoid toxic exposures. Although the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, clearly identifies chemicals known to cause cancer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently rolling back many programs and rules to protect Americans. This is especially disturbing since the same chemicals that cause cancer, also cause brain damage in children.

 

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