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.

Closing or Halting of Myeloma Immune Therapy Trials: A Major Setback for Patients and Drug Companies

When the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted three Keytruda (pembrolizumab) clinical trials recently because of unexpected deaths, it was cause for concern. This week, the FDA has acted to close further studies involving the whole range of PD-1/ PD-L1 inhibitors combined with the IMiDs Revlimid (lenalidomide) and Pomalyst (pomalidomide) in order to forestall any further unexpected toxicities and/or deaths.

Daratumumab in the News Again: Showing Benefit in Frontline and at Relapse

On August 24th, Genmab announced that the ALCYONE trial, which compared the combination of daratumumab (Darzalex®) with VMP (Velcade®/melphalan/prednisone) to VMP alone, hit the primary endpoint for treatment of myeloma as a frontline therapy. The progression-free survival (PFS) for the VMP alone was 18.1 months versus “not reached” with the addition of daratumumab. Showing the added value of daratumumab is very important in Europe, where VMP is a standard frontline regimen.

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.

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