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.

 

A Step Towards Precision Medicine

The IMF is very pleased to have established a partnership with AbbVie to conduct the largest, most comprehensive chart-review study of myeloma patients with the t(11;14) translocation evident on FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) testing of bone marrow myeloma cells. This landmark retrospective analysis assesses the 16-to-24-percent of myeloma patients harboring the t(11;14) translocation. The presence or absence of other mutations is also being evaluated to determine the impact of more complex patterns of mutations. A unique aspect of the study is the ability to assess response to a variety of treatments and document lengths of remission and overall outcomes.

 

IMF Launches New Education Initiative

This week, the IMF is launching a new initiative to provide current recommendations for myeloma management for the busy physicians, pharmacists, and nurses who are on the frontlines of providing patient care. The impetus for the initiative is the recognition that community health care providers need, and value, up-to-date expert recommendations delivered in convenient formats over a variety of platforms—video, online, in print, and in person.

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