Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Garden is Progressing Nicely

This was taken March 28th:

Look at us now.  I'm SO HOPEFUL that these Hay Bales will be fruitful.  The tomatoes look great, thus far.  If this works, we'll do a lot of hay bales next year.

Check out the difference:

Planted in a hay bale

Planted in soil

Yesterday's Shish-Kabobs.... YUMMY!

I had a nice sirloin tip roast in the freezer.  It occurred to us that it's been YEARS since we made shish kabobs.  They were just great.

I marinated the meat in 3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 Cup Olive Oil, 4 Tbl Brown Sugar, Finely Minced Onion and Garlic, Cracked Black Pepper.  Refrigerated that for about 4 hours.

I used our new favorite, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Onion, Bell Pepper and Cherry Tomatoes.

We were tickled with the flavor... the vinegar/brown sugar really zipped them up.

The remainder of the roast will be in a stir fry tonite.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q&A With Tanya Wildes, MD: Managing Multiple Myeloma in Older Patients

In this question-and-answer session,
'Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes
about the management of
multiple myeloma among older patients.
Tanya M Wildes, MD, is an assistant professor of medical oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Her clinical and research focus is on the management of multiple myeloma and other hematologic cancers among older adults. She also studies risk prediction of falls and geriatric assessment in older patients with myeloma.

In this question-and-answer session, Cancer Therapy Advisor asked Dr Wildes about the management of multiple myeloma among older patients, and how clinical practice is changing as baby boomers reach late adulthood.

Cancer Therapy Advisor (CTA): How are the demographics and incidence of multiple myeloma changing in the United States?

Dr Wildes: Between 2010 and 2030, there is expected to be a 57% increase in the number of myeloma cases diagnosed annually.This increase will be largely driven by the aging of the population. One projection estimates that, among individuals age 64 to 84 years, the incidence will increase from 12,700 in 2011 to 2013 to 24,400 in 2032 to 2034 — an increase of over 90%. Currently, 2 out of every 3 individuals diagnosed with multiple myeloma are aged 64 to 84. In 15 years, that number will be 3 out of every 4.

CTA: What are the biggest challenges in managing multiple myeloma among older adults?

Dr Wildes: The biggest challenge in managing multiple myeloma in older patients is finding the balance between effectiveness of treatment and toxicity. The trend toward more intensive therapy to obtain deeper responses must be balanced with the real world risk of toxicity.

Jump For The Rest of the Interview

Novel Test For Multiple Myeloma Uses Microchip, Conventional Blood Sample

This will delight Dominic.  He's dreading his Monday morning Bone Marrow Biopsy.  When Dr. S. told him that she wanted one done, he exclaimed "What????  I just had one!".  She checked his chart and said, "Dominic!  That was last June!".  (she looked at me like we were dealing with a child...LOL)

Using a conventional blood test and microfluidics, researchers at MIT have developed a less painful approach to testing for multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells. When white blood cells become cancerous, they begin to accumulate in the bone marrow and eventually in the bloodstream. The traditional method to test for multiple myeloma is painful. A needle is inserted near the hipbone and is used to draw a sample of bone marrow. The sample is then analyzed for the presence of cancerous white blood cells.

The approach developed by the MIT researchers involves passing a blood sample through a small microchip with repeating V shaped grooves, similar to a herringbone pattern. The grooves cause the blood to swirl, increasing the chances that the fluid will make contact with the base of the chip. George Whitesides, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University, was the original designer of the chip. The MIT researchers built on this design by adding CD138 antibodies to the base of the chip. When the blood swirled in the grooves, white blood cells in the sample would attach to CD138 antibodies on the chip base.

Very low numbers of white blood cells, only 2 to 5 cells/mL of blood, were found in blood from healthy donor samples when the chip was tested. In contrast, the blood samples of patients with multiple myeloma had 45 to 181 white blood cells/mL. Additionally, researchers were able to detect the ratio of plasma cells producing kappa-type and lambda-type antibodies, which may inform disease progression.

“Capturing plasma cells from blood samples can serve as a liquid biopsy,” explained former MIT postdoc and lead investigator Mohammad Qasaimeh. “[It] can be performed in clinics as often as required, and serve as a diagnostic and prognostic test during and after chemotherapy treatment. Moreover, captured cells can be used for drug testing and thus serve as a tool for personalized medicine.”


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Understanding Multiple Myeloma

NAPSI)—You may be surprised to learn that multiple myeloma is the second most common cancer of the blood, after leukemia. It starts in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. In time, myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow and may damage the solid part of the bone and eventually harm other tissues and organs, such as the skeleton and the kidneys.

In fact, there are approximately 114,000 new cases diagnosed every year. If you or a loved one is among the 230,000 people living with multiple myeloma worldwide there are a few facts you should know.

What Can Be Done

For many people with the disease, an autologous stem cell transplant may be an answer for eligible patients. This involves collecting the patient's own blood-forming stem cells and storing them. He or she is then treated with high doses of chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. This kills cancer cells but also eliminates the remaining blood-producing stem cells in the bone marrow. Afterward, the collected stem cells are transplanted back into the patient, so the bone marrow can produce new blood cells.

To help people learn more about the disease and its treatments, the Multiple Myeloma Journey Partners Program was created.

This peer-to-peer education program for patients, caregivers and health care providers leverages storytelling as a tool to improve the patient experience. Journey Partners are multiple myeloma patients who have experienced similar emotions, faced the same challenges and asked the same questions about living with the disease. A Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner will come to any community in which 10 or more people would like to attend the free one-hour educational seminar. The main benefit is that multiple myeloma patients know they're not alone, and the program provides educational resources and services that help patients and families navigate their journey to achieve the best possible outcomes.

As John Killip, a Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner, puts it, "It was conversations with my support group, family and health care providers that influenced my decision to have a stem cell transplant in 2008, when I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, at the age of 65. Mentoring other multiple myeloma patients is one of the highlights of my life. I became a Journey Partner to share my story and help others with the disease make sense of the diagnosis and overcome the fear of the unknown."

Learn More

For more information or to request a program, you can visit Anyone interested in becoming a Multiple Myeloma Journey Partner can contact the program coordinator listed on the website. The program is sponsored by Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi focused on rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, immunology, and oncology.