Monthly Archives: February 2011

Increased in vivo efficacy of lenalidomide by addition of piroctone olamine…

First, an update on my computer situation. Stefano fixed it yesterday evening, and I have to say that the new superfast groovyzoomything that he installed in its belly seems to know what I want to do even before I begin typing…in fact, I can barely keep up with my computer now…Amazing.

Ah, before I forget: I didn’t check my e-mail during the frustrating, slow-as-a-snail laptop period, so I found 120 or so messages lying (unread) in my e-box yesterday evening. Yikes! It will take me a while to go through all of them, so I just wanted to say that if you have written to me with a question or two but haven’t heard back yet, please send me a reminder…Thanks!

Now, before getting to the point of this post, I would like to remind you of what I wrote a couple of years ago about an antifungal goo (= a nail fungus treatment, actually) called ciclopirox olamine, or CPX, which was shown to have devastating effects on leukemia, myeloma and solid tumor cells. Here is the link to my CPX page: http://margaret.healthblogs.org/other-alternative-treatments/ciclopirox-olamine-nail-fungus-treatment/ Please note that CPX targets leukemic STEM cells, too…Ah yes!!! Very exciting…

A quick note: a blog reader wrote that her husband was in the CPX clinical trial at Vancouver General Hospital (click on the link above to read her comments). Well, this afternoon I went to the Clinical Trials website where I found that this particular trial is going to end in October 2011…so it may be a bit too early now to have any results. But, Lyn, if you have an update of any sort, would you please get in touch with me? That would be lovely, thanks! :-)

Okay, fast forward to last Sunday (morning), which is when I stumbled across an interesting abstract discussing another antifungal substance called piroctone olamine, or PO, which KILLS myeloma cells (=major apoptotic activity) as well as lymphoma ones. See: http://goo.gl/Dgbuy This stuff was tested also in vivo (= mice), as you can read in the abstract…

Another interesting titbit: when lenalidomide (Revlimid), a derivative of thalidomide, was added to PO, the effects on the myeloma cell lines were even stronger…

The abstract concludes that These results reveal a significant selective induction of apoptosis by PO and suggest a significant in vivo effect against myeloma.

So far, so good. Now, after doing a bit of research, I discovered that, yes, PO is indeed used to treat fungal infections…but it seems mainly to be used in the treatment of moderate to severe dandruff. No, really, I am NOT kidding! See: http://goo.gl/Y3xyV

So here we have TWO substances that treat nail fungus and severe dandruff…and they BOTH annihilate myeloma cells, too? If I hadn’t read it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, either…

Well, I am not sure what to do with all this antifungal myeloma information, but I find it interesting that curcumin also has strong antifungal activity…Personal anecdote (which I have mentioned before…): back in 2006, some time after I began taking curcumin, my chronic…bothersome and painful…yeast infections disappeared once and for all…and, incidentally, have not returned (see: http://goo.gl/MQOXW) …AND my myeloma has also been more or less stable since then…

Well. Makes you wonder…doesn’t it? Any ideas or thoughts or suggestions? Should we be running out to buy some of this wondrous dandruff shampoo (without any parabens, of course) or…?

I want a metronome!

I am still on the slower-than-a-snail laptop, since Stefano, my computer guy, has been too exhausted the past couple of nights to put my super fast fabulous computer back together. He said he would do it this evening, though. Phew!

So I don’t have any research-based posts, but I do have this, thanks to Hanna: http://goo.gl/VS2rp  Hehe. Enjoy!

Fizz! Crackle! Pop! Poof!

This afternoon, while I was in the kitchen making an apple pie, Stefano was in my study updating my computer. At one point he came downstairs, looking both crestfallen and upset. He told me that he had installed a new poochywoochy inside my computer, which meant he’d had to unplug it, of course. Well, when he plugged it back in and turned it on, he heard a crackling poofy noise and saw that the transformer had burned out. Argh! To make a long story short, we hope that no harm was done to my computer, and that fixing the problem will just be a matter of changing the dead transformer (I will go buy a new one at some point tomorrow)…In the meantime, I won’t have access to my computer, my research or my e-mail. Eh.

Of course, before taking my computer apart, Stefano made a backup, so I won’t lose anything.  But this slight setback means that I won’t be able to publish my almost-finished post concerning a fascinating thingy I came across the other day. Oh well…

Anyway, I will still be able to go online (on Facebook, e.g.)…but little else. Incidentally, I am writing this post on our laptop, which is driving me crazy because the screen is small, and the text doesn’t fit properly, so it’s very difficult to see what I am typing, let alone correct anything…

Whatever you do today, steer clear of poochywoochies!

Janet Battaile, New York Times editor, dies after a ten-year battle with multiple myeloma

Thanks to Hanna, a dear blog reader/friend, I read the lovely tribute paid to Janet Battaile, a longtime New York Times editor, who died yesterday, more than ten years after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Here is the link: http://goo.gl/f5J9H 

The tribute mentions that, after her diagnosis, Janet pursued “experimental treatments” instead of having chemotherapy, but provides no further details. How bloody frustrating…Hanna and I wondered what those treatments might have been…So I read a few of Janet’s articles and thought the answer might possibly be thalidomide (we are talking 2001, here)…but there is no way of knowing for sure…

At any rate, please make sure you read her love letter to her husband (incidentally, this piece of writing made me appreciate my Stefano even more than I already do…my Stefano is a “spectacular wife,” too!!! :-)): http://goo.gl/y2Hgc

And finally, here’s to swigging, guzzling, and gulping life!!!

New Consumer Lab report on curcumin…

Consumer Lab (“a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition”) published a new report on curcumin brands just a couple of days ago, on February 16th. As you can imagine, I was very eager to read it. Or to read more about it…

Here you can find the publicly-available Consumer Lab information: http://goo.gl/uJZcn

Consumer Lab tested the following ten curcumin brands: Advance Physician Formulas Curcumin, Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex with Bioperine, Doctors Purest Ageless Cures Curcumin C3 Complex, Douglas Laboratories Ayur-Curcumin, GNC Herbals Plus Standardized Curcumin, Jarrow Formulas Curcumin 95, Life Extension Super Curcumin with Bioperine, Natural Factors Turmeric and Bromelain, Naturally Enhanced Absorption Curcu-Gel and Curcu-Gel Ultra, Nature’s Life Turmeric Ginger Joint Ease, Nature’s Way Turmeric, Paradise Herbs & Essentials Turmeric, Solgar Turmeric Root Extract, Swanson Superior Herbs Curcumin, and Vitamin Shoppe Standardized Herbs Turmeric Extract.

I cannot publish the names of the two brands that didn’t make the cut (due to copyright issues, understandably), but I can tell you that I had never heard of them before and that they were found to provide only 7.7% and 14.7% of expected curcuminoid compounds (see above-mentioned link). Oooooooh, that is VERY VERY VERY BAD! Shame, shame, shame on those two companies!!!!!!!!! Booooo!!!!!!!!!

But the report also contains some really good news for us curcumin-takers, namely that none of the tested products had any lead and cadmium contamination. Yaaay! Superrrrrr!!!

An interesting excerpt: “Consumers need to select turmeric or curcumin supplements carefully to be sure they are getting a quality product. The products that failed our testing would deliver only a small fraction of the doses expected from their labels. In addition, because curcumin is poorly absorbed, certain specially formulated products may offer greater bioavailability,” said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com. To help consumers get the best value from a supplement, ConsumerLab.com calculated the cost to obtain a 500 mg dose of curcuminoids, which ranged from 13 cents to 52 cents among products that passed testing, some of which included bioavailability enhancers. For the two products that failed testing, the costs were $3.44 and $7.88, due to the small amounts of curcuminoids that they actually contained.

Well, while I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to read the full report (March update: I have read the full report but have nothing to add), I’m ecstatic to note that my own brand passed the CL test…And, for now anyway, that is good enough…indeed, more than good enough!…for me…

A new exterminator of myeloma cells!!!

Many many thanks to a blog reader who sent me an absolutely fascinating link this morning: http://goo.gl/5rcGR How in the world did I miss this? Hmmm. Well, I did… Luckily, I have some very dedicated blog readers who send me all sorts of interesting things (including some hilarious stuff…) to keep me on my toes! :-) 

Anyway, the link will take you to a paper that was presented at the December 2010 ASH conference. Cardamonin is extracted from a lovely plant called Alpinia katsumadai (see photo), which belongs to the ginger family (hmmm, quelle surprise…NOT!) and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine

Cardamonin affects both the STAT3 and NF-kappaB pathways, which, as we know, are crucial for myeloma cell survival and proliferation. It also enhances the anti-MM activity of some conventional drugs used in the treatment of multiple myeloma: vincristine, doxorubicin, dexamethasone, bortezomib and thalidomide. Well, well…

But it also strongly induced cell apoptosis…That means that it killed myeloma cells…all by itself…Yaaaaaay!

Right before the “Conclusions,” you can read about all the things that cardamonin inhibits in myeloma cells. In addition to the two above-mentioned pathways, it also has a strong effect against COX2, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, survivin, VEGF (angiogenesis) etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Wow. It’s like reading about the effect of curcumin on myeloma cells…amazing…

Oh, I just read in PubMed that cardamonin also has antiviral activity. In fact, it STRONGLY inhibits the H1N1 virus, see: http://goo.gl/Bxpvp Well, I definitely need to do more research on this compound…when I have a bit more time…Still, from the little I have read this morning, it all sounds very promising, so much so that I hope this new substance receives a lot of attention! Hmmm, I wonder if it is commercially available? I mean, if it is used in traditional Chinese medicine, it must be…okay, need to check that, too.

But now I have to rush off. Take care, everyone…especially you, Paula!

Blood tests…

Yes, I had my blood tests done yesterday…And I have called this my “flu with high fever” experiment (for details, see my January 31st post: http://margaret.healthblogs.org/2011/01/31/high-fevers/)…

Now, I always watch the blood extraction procedure with interest, mainly because I am always amazed at the amount of the dark red stuff that is taken out of my arm. Sometimes, though, watching blood being drawn from your arm may not be such a good idea. Yesterday, you see, an odd thing happened…

The nurse, a man in his 50s (therefore, I presume, not someone who was new at drawing blood!), inserted the needle into my arm and began pulling the plunger. But no blood (or anything else, for that matter!!!) flowed into the barrel of the syringe. He pulled…and pulled again. Nothing happened. So he began poking around inside my vein, I mean, seriously poking!, which startled me and felt a bit uncomfortable, to boot. Trying to make light of this unfortunate occurrence, I finally asked him: “Uhm, do you think there is any blood at all in there?” He didn’t think that was funny…and continued poking…

He finally managed to get my blood flowing into the barrel. It probably was only a matter of seconds, but it seemed like ages. I also noticed that my blood was entering the barrel verrrry slowly. Now, since this has never happened before, I wonder if I should be worried…

Naaah, the nurse was probably just having a bad day…Still, how weird…

I won’t have my test results until the middle of next month. Sigh. I really don’t know what to expect, since I still have a bit of a productive cough, which means that my total IgGs are almost certainly going to be sky high. However, in view of the fact that ten days ago I had a high fever that lasted for five full days, then a low-grade fever for two or three days, it will be interesting to see if my monoclonal component was affected in any way…

Well, I will be giving you the news, good or bad!, at some point after the middle of March.

Fingers crossed…!!! :-)

CNB-001: continuation of yesterday’s post…

This morning I read a Science Daily article on yesterday’s bit of news re. the new type of curcumin that is able to cross the blood brain barrier: http://goo.gl/8Ichl Compared to the BBC article, the SD one describes more in detail what happens during a stroke and how this new form of curcumin is able to help, by repairing stroke damage at the molecular level that feed and support the all-important brain cells, neurons…The article is easy to read, so please go have a look…

Wow, this is soooo exciting…

Hey Paula, get well soon! Thinking of you! :-)