“What is multiple myeloma?” Those were my words after the doctor’s review of my lab results for a routine and random high blood pressure exam in November 2008.
I had always been healthy, had never been in the hospital, never even broken a bone. I was in great shape: a 46-year-old high school biology teacher, head softball and volleyball coach, with a beautiful young family including two teenage daughters. I got not only cancer, but an incurable form of cancer. The diagnosis was confirmed the following week by a bone marrow biopsy. My marrow was 83 percent cancer cells, yet I showed no typical symptoms such as weak or breaking bones. I was extremely anemic, but it was not preventing me from coaching. I had no clue I was sick.
Ibrutinib expanded to newly diagnosed CLL patients
Ibrutinib just became the latest therapy for blood cancers to receive an expanded approval use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Such therapeutic advances have been making great progress in recent months and a number of investigational agents – first approved for one disease and population – are being expanded to new uses.
Almost 300 drugs for blood cancers are currently in clinical trials or awaiting FDA review.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society recently brought together a world-renowned panel of thought leaders to discuss the latest advances and insights into blood cancer research and treatment, drug costs and patient access, and patient advocacy and policy.
“There’s never a good time to get cancer but this is a phenomenal time to be fighting it,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, president and CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).