“The bone-marrow niche in MDS and MGUS: implications for AML and MM.” Part 3.

Final post on the Dana-Farber study.

–Another thing mentioned in my 2013 post (see my Jan 31 2018 post for the link) is mentioned in this Dana-Farber study, too: PD-1, which stands for programmed cell death protein 1. Blocking the activity of this protein, which is highly expressed by MM cells, helps our immune system react against the cancerous cells. The Dana-Farber study informs us, however, that the conventional agents used to block PD-1 have been found to be toxic and not very effective, so the patient studies are currently on hold.

But guess what? Curcumin blocks PD-1, without any toxic side effects. Of course, curcumin isn’t a drug, so we cannot expect it to work like one. But it’s one MORE thing that curcumin does.

–There is another target called CXCL12, a chemokine protein (don’t ask!) secreted by stromal cells that helps myeloma cells become drug resistant, among other bad things. If CXCL12 is inhibited in early stages, however, progression to myeloma can be delayed or even prevented.

28 patients with relapsed or refractory MM participated in a relatively recent clinical trial testing bortezomib, dexamethasone, and something called olaptesed pegol whose target is CXCL12. There was a “clinical benefit rate” for 75% of these patients. Not sure what that means, and we are also told nothing about the patients’ quality of life, stuff that I imagine is of HUGE interest to all of us. Oh well.

My comment: curcumin inhibits CXCL12.

I don’t want to go overboard with too many details. So let’s get to the study’s conclusions.

This group of researchers maintains that targeting the myeloma-friendly bone marrow microenvironment is crucial. It might prevent disease progression to myeloma and increase the effectiveness of conventional treatments after progression has taken place.

But the research is in an early stage…more studies are needed.

In the meantime, I say, let’s stick to the “Watch and Wait” strategy (while taking non-toxic stuff and having a normal, splendid life). Until you have CRAB symptoms, it’s the best strategy on the market today.

Incidentally, why don’t we rename “Watch and Wait” with something that sounds more proactive? I mean, most of us aren’t just sitting back and just waiting for a brick to fall on our heads, right? We’re doing something!!!

So, any suggestions?

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