ICER Report: Could a flawed approach to cost-effectiveness assessment put patients at risk?

Until earlier this year I was unfamiliar with ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review). Then, I started to read reports about the methodological flaws and factual errors in the institute’s recently released report, “Treatment Options for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma: Effectiveness and Value.”  Critics of the 138-page cost-effectiveness assessment called it “spurious,” “misleading,” and pointed to the report’s “invalid results.” Strong words indeed.

iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) really will stop myeloma for a whole country—Iceland!

As announced this week, the IMF is funding the iStopMM (Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) study, an exciting new addition to the portfolio of more than 35 Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI®) projects. Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson (University of Iceland) is the lead investigator.

Whatever happened to measles vaccine therapy? A status report

Almost two years ago, I wrote about encouraging new research on virus or “viro” therapy for myeloma. Stacy Erholtz, a 50-year-old myeloma patient at the Mayo Clinic, had a dramatic response when treated with a massive dose of engineered measles virus—a dose of measles virus sufficient to vaccinate 10 million people. Stacy continues to do very well at the present time.

Myeloma patients: staying connected globally and looking for answers

The bombings in Brussels made this a tough week for the global community, but President Obama pressed ahead with his historic visit to Cuba. In his speech on Tuesday, he cited examples of past medical collaborations between our two countries, such as the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay in Cuba, which helped Dr. Walter Reed learn how to combat yellow fever, as well as more recent joint efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa.

The good and bad about the future: What does famed physicist, futurist, and best-selling author Michio Kaku think?

This past weekend, I took an evening off to attend the Southern California Distinguished Speaker series featuring theoretical physicist and futurist Prof. Michio Kaku. After seeing the 2014 movie, “Interstellar,” I was hoping to find out if Prof. Kaku thought it was really possible to use wormholes to travel to distant galaxies.