What Myeloma Patients Should Put in Their Grocery Baskets in 2018

Food is very much in the news this week. Friend and colleague Prof. Heinz Ludwig (International Myeloma Working Group and IMF Board of Directors member), called my attention to two food news reports: a review linking a higher fish intake to a lower risk of cancer, and a meta-analysis of five studies showing a consistent connection between higher fish consumption and a lower likelihood of myeloma. The latter analysis captured data from North America, Europe, and Asia demonstrating a similar trend, which lends credibility to the findings.

As Federally Funded Medical Research Decreases in the US, Chinese Biotech Surges 500 Percent

A recent publication by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) emphasized the traditional key role of US investment in cancer research. However, they also noted both a 75-percent drop in the number of fully-funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies presented at the ASCO Annual Meetings from 2008 to 2017, and a serious drop in the number of new NIH proposals funded—from 27 percent in 2001 to just 12 percent in 2015.

Drug price disruption: Will the new Amazon deal have an impact?

A recent analysis by reporter Erin Mershon in STAT  offers five reasons why it is so very difficult to make drugs more affordable, despite President Trump’s repeated vow to lower prices. The five factors are:

What are the prospects for early diagnosis, CRISPR gene-editing, and CAR T-cell therapies in myeloma?

What does the new cancer research mean for patients? IMF Chairman Dr. Brian G.M. Durie sees a fresh take on MGUS, the curative potential of cloning, and questions on the value of early diagnosis.

Is Putting the Care Back into Healthcare the Answer?

Two recent news articles highlight the fractured nature of our healthcare delivery system. The first article describes how a radioactive isotope (Molybdenum-99 or “moly-99”) that is vital for imaging the bones and the heart is no longer manufactured in the US. We currently rely on sources as far away as South Africa and Australia to supply it. But now there is an ambitious plan to establish production of moly-99 in the cornfields of Wisconsin. A similar story has emerged with the shortage of intravenous saline (salt) solutions needed in the treatment of the current flu epidemic. The main source has been Puerto Rico, which suffered serious damage from Hurricane Maria and is no longer able to export its goods.

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