University of California girds to combat cancer, a closer look at CAR-T cell therapy, and medical tourism to China—a wave of the future?

With new drug approvals and expanded indications for new myeloma drugs at an all-time high, there is a sense of optimism in the myeloma community. Yet, even as patients experience longer survival, myeloma remains very sneaky. The disease can evolve into resistant relapse phases, demanding new therapy.

With the Solar Eclipse, Millions Understand That Science is Not Fake News

At 10:21 a.m. Los Angeles time on Monday, August 21st, the moon covered 62% of the sun. In Oregon and across the US, there were 2.3 minutes of total darkness. Scientists had been informing everyone about this upcoming event for many years, and it occurred exactly on schedule: a natural event.

Positive Butterfly News, Immune Tweaking with CRISPR, and Looking to the Future in China

As I reported in a previous blog, not only does the herbicide Roundup cause lymphomas and myeloma, its widespread use on GMO (genetically modified organism) crops has decimated milkweed, an herbaceous perennial and the essential food for monarch butterflies. Since 1990, about 970 million monarchs have vanished.

CAR T-cell therapy wins expert panel approval for leukemia treatment: What does this mean for myeloma patients?

On Wednesday, an advisory panel convened by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 10 to 0 to recommend the approval of CAR T-cell therapy for treatment of children and young adults with late-stage leukemia. Novartis’s CTL019 is a gene-altering treatment directed against the protein CD19 found on the leukemic B-cells. Wednesday’s unanimous endorsement paves the way for the first gene therapy to win FDA approval, which is expected in September.

Are Cure Claims for CAR T-Cell Therapy Premature?

The top news to come out of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which concluded on Tuesday, focused on claims that immune cellular therapy with CAR T-cells provides a potentially curative approach for myeloma. It is way too soon, in my opinion, for such suggestions, both in terms of treatment benefit and toxicities and/or side effects.