December 1, 2012

by kpw413

On Thursday evening, November 29th, I participated on a Cure Panel teleconference entitled Myeloma Treatment without Transplant. The featured speaker was Dr. James Berenson of Los Angeles who spoke about his approach to treating myeloma.

His main points are: maintenance of bone health, maintenance of nerve health, and maintenance of emotional health through using lower doses of known to be effective drugs for myeloma. Essentially, he is not looking for quick response to the myeloma drugs. Instead, he looks for the long term; that each patient gradually improves without engendering unwanted side effects these medications are known to cause.

He is a fan of Kyprolis (carfilzomib), Revlimid (lenalidomide), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil or Lipodox (doxorubicin), and the steroids Decadron (dexamethasone) and Medrol (methylprednisolone). He also likes Zometa (zoledronic acid), even sometimes by itself, for long periods of time.

He was not at all specific when asked about how much less of these drugs should be used saying that every patient is different (we all know this). He did say that 160mg of steroid per month was a good level if tolerated and that patients should be on steroids for long periods of time. He also said that myeloma patients should be on 1 gram of elemental calcium per day and should have good levels of Vitamin D.

He stated he would be delivering quite a few papers at the upcoming American Society of Hematologists meeting in Atlanta. In one of them, he will speak about an alternative measurement tool for patients whose M-spike at lower levels that is more accurate called b-cell maturation. We’ll have to wait to learn more.

One more thing, Dr. Berenson claims to have the the best 5-year survival rate in the US.

Finally, I was able to ask his opinion of curcumin therapy. He wasn’t sure that it could be very effective due to its low bioavailability. I mentioned that a new version called Curcumin Phytosome is supposed to be much more bioavailable.

I have to say that is approach makes sense to me, especially with the peripheral neuropathy I have recently suffered, that may have been unnecessary. By the way, I have been on nightly doses of 10 mg of amitriptaline for the neuropathy which has been helping. My symptoms are less than half of what they were.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for my healing.