Ask the Expert about the Latest Myeloma News

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Topics include: Treatments

The American Society of Hematology has a conference each year, where about 30,000 experts in blood-related cancers gather from around the world to discuss their latest research. On this show, host Andrew Schorr is joined by Dr. Sagar Lonial, a myeloma specialist in Atlanta. Dr. Lonial is an associate professor at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and also Director of Translational Research in the B-cell Malignancy Program there. They discuss the findings from this year’s ASH conference and take calls and emails from listeners.

Dr. Sagar Lonial explains why this is a pivotal time in myeloma research. As more research and techniques become available, it’s important to think about how these therapies all work together. The discussion focuses on combination therapy, including transplant and several drug therapies. He speaks about promising new drugs, how to choose the right treatment and how doctors are improving transplants.

We also hear from patients from around the country with questions about specific drugs and other treatments. Dr. Lonial helps them to decide how to know when to call your doctor when side effects get too bad, and gives advice about what patients can do on their own to improve their chances for recovery, as well as treatment options to discuss with their doctors. He also answers questions about the role heredity might play, and how a patient’s age might affect which therapies are used.

Tune in to this show to learn about the differences between specific drugs and therapies, as well as new technologies that are making this an exciting time in myeloma research and treatment. While there may bumps in the road in myeloma treatment, these new technologies have suggested myeloma patients can now live long, full lives while undergoing occasional treatment. Dr. Lonial says, “a main goal for all of us who treat myeloma is that we want patients to be back doing what they normally do and enjoying life and spending time with their family.”

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Andrew Schorr:

Hello, and thanks for being with us once again on the eighth in our series of live webcasts connecting you with leading multiple myeloma experts, and I'm just delighted to be part of this. I'm a leukemia survivor, so I can relate in some ways, and I've met many myeloma patients and family members along the way, and I know knowledge is power.

Happily, there's a lot happening, and I had the privilege of being at the American Society of Hematology meeting down in Atlanta that met in December, and this is where experts across the blood-related cancers gather from around the world every year, 30,000 people or so, and there was a lot of myeloma news as we've discussed on earlier programs and some very important studies; combinations therapies and studies of drugs related to people who might have transplant or people who were simply having drug therapies.

Well, what does it mean to you if you're living with multiple myeloma or a family member is, and you are trying to live with it chronically and hopefully have a long, full life, and some people have side effects from certain medicines or they wear off after a while, well where do you go next, or how do you limit the side effects? All that has been and continues to be studied, and as always I'll give my commercial for clinical trials. I was in a clinical trial for my leukemia. You have a lot of people to thank, and maybe some of you are in the audience, for the folks who participated in the clinical trials that led to the data that was presented in Atlanta in December that allows us to make decisions and talk about it. So consider for yourself as you go on your myeloma journey being in a clinical trial.

I want to introduce our expert. We will be taking phone calls with your questions as well as e-mail questions. Many people have sent e-mails. We will try to get to as many questions as we can in this hour, but this is not the place for Dr. Lonial, our guest, to practice medicine over the Internet. It wouldn't be fair to you; it wouldn't be fair to him; it wouldn't be fair to our listeners. So what we'll try to do in all cases is take the sense of what you're asking and give you some guidance but also globalize it to our many listeners live, and then also the replays of all of our programs, and as I said this is our eighth one, are all on and often on the medical center's websites representing our experts, their institutions, and now we're very excited on a new Microsoft website called, and then you can type in myeloma or multiple myeloma and you'll see little pictures of our web pages on the left and then the transcript, the audio, the article, etc.

Okay, I've talked enough. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty here. I want to welcome back to Patient Power Dr. Sagar Lonial who joins us from Atlanta. He is an associate professor at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and also he is Director of Translational Research in the B-cell Malignancy Program there.

Dr. Lonial thanks for joining us once again.

Dr. Lonial:

Thank you, Andrew. Glad to be here.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. Have you got your seatbelt fastened for a lot of questions?

Dr. Lonial:

I'm ready.

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