Terry Golombick’s new website

Now, I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but I’m making an exception today because I have such a HIGH regard for Dr. Terry Golombick. If you don’t know who she is, just do a search of my blog…In a nutshell, she was in charge of the Australian MGUS and SMM curcumin patient trials…so, lots of experience, there…

Terry has recently relaunched her website and is offering consultations specifically for MGUS and SMM folks who live in or near Sydney, Australia. I think it’s WONDERFUL…

Anyway, here’s the link for those lucky Sydney-dwellers: https://www.mgustherapy.com/

But even if you do NOT live in or near Sydney, have a look at her website, which has some very interesting information. For example, how about those three case studies, eh? Nice! 🙂 

Take care, everyone! And…WEAR A MASK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. the photo in this post is of a purple Allium (ornamental). It’s so tall…and so pretty…to the point that some of my friends think it’s fake, hehe. Nope, it’s real. And it’s in my garden! BTW, I took this photo from above…

Treating COVID-19 in a patient with multiple myeloma

Some readers have recently been asking me about curcumin and Covid-19. Is it good or bad to be taking it if you contract coronavirus?  Can it reduce your risk of contracting Covid-19? (See my post on vitamina D, incidentally.) I don’t know.

If I had any answers, believe me, I’d be publishing them…immediately.

Well, it just so happens that this afternoon I read a very interesting Science Daily article that may shed some light on this matter. It discusses the case study of ONE myeloma patient, in Wuhan, who was given an immunosuppressant drug, a monoclonal antibody, called tocilizumab. Here’s the link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200403124931.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fmultiple_myeloma+%28Multiple+Myeloma+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

Okay, now that you’ve read the SD article, you can read the rest of my post. 😉 

The main use of tocilizumab is to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The interesting bit, as far as I’m concerned, though, is that tocilizumab blocks IL-6. Remember IL-6? I haven’t talked about IL-6 in a long time, but, simply put, it’s a really good friend of multiple myeloma. Aha…

And, by reducing the expression of IL-6, tocilizumab helps control the effects of what is known as a “cytokine storm” (read this April 1 New York Times article for a good explanation of what happens to Covid-19 patients when their immune systems go wacky and begin churning out too many cytokines, which can lead to vital organ failure: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/health/coronavirus-cytokine-storm-immune-system.html).

Okay, now for this: curcumin inhibits IL-6 AND suppresses the cytokines involved in cytokine storms. Yes, it does both the things that tocilizumab does, without all the side effects, which actually don’t look that bad–from a runny nose to urinary tract infections (well, okay, I’d rather not get a UTI!).

Does that mean that curcumin would work against coronavirus or indeed help lower our risk of getting this blasted virus? As I wrote above, I have no idea, even though, as we know, among other things, curcumin has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

All I can say is that this bit of news today is promising. Sure, this is only ONE single case study, but I can tell you that, on March 19, tocilizumab started being administered to 330 coronavirus patients in a hospital in Naples (Italy). At the end of this month, fingers crossed, we may have some results. Right now, Italian newspapers report that the director of this study has expressed “cautious optimism.” I also saw that the FDA has approved Phase III trials for treating Covid patients with tocilizumab.

We just have to wait and see…

But, while we’re waiting, I’m going to keep taking curcumin (actually, I’d never thought about stopping…!!!)…

“Use of curcumin in multiple myeloma patients intolerant of steroid therapy”

A few days ago, Dr. Terry Golombick of the Department of Endocrinology, St George Hospital, Sydney, Australia, sent me the link ( http://bit.ly/2VwqWf1 ) to her team’s most recent clinical case report, in which they tested curcumin on myeloma patients who were no longer able to tolerate the prolonged use of dexamethasone due to its adverse side effects, such as “fatigue, weight gain, fluid retention, poor impact on mental health, osteoporosis and hyperglycemia, or poor diabetic control.”

This new study selected 15 patients, ranging in age from 57 to 86, who were either taking immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) or proteasome inhibitors (PIs) in addition to the dexamethasone. They replaced Dex with a daily dose of 3-4 grams of curcumin (about half of what I take, btw).

Of the 15, three died during the study period…not because of the curcumin, obviously, but because they weren’t doing very well, unfortunately (you can read the details in the paragraph located above “4. Discussion and Conclusion”).

The other 12 patients, however, are stable and doing well, in spite of the fact that some have high-risk cytogenetic and FISH abnormalities.

The combination of curcumin and the other conventional drugs reduced their paraprotein levels by 38%, and plasmacytosis by 59%. How about that?

Anyway, it’s not a difficult read, methinks, so please have a look at the above link…

Thank you, Dr. Golombick! I am so grateful to you and your team for all your tireless work. You give us hope!!! :-) Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!

We need MORE studies like this one! Not 10 years from now…but…NOW!!!!!!!!!! 

Quick update

Well, quite a lot has happened since I wrote my post on the loss of our Priscilla.

A few days after her death, Stefano came home complaining of a sore throat, which soon turned into a full-blown case of bronchitis: more proof, to me anyway!, of a close association between stress (and, in this case, probably grief as well) and a lowering of the immune defenses.

Anyway, we tried to be careful, but to no avail: on top of everything else, I caught his bronchitis and was sick (againnnnnn!) for about two weeks. This happened in mid January or thereabouts. So, all in all, I was sick/convalescent/sick/convalescent for more than a month. Agh! Ridikkulus!

But now I’m fine…fully recovered.

The horrible month of January 2020 ended with another death: my mother-in-law…This didn’t come as a complete surprise, since she’d been doing poorly for some time, but still, on top of everything else…it wasn’t easy.

But, as an upcoming post will show, things seem to be slowly getting better. As I mentioned, I’m fully recovered, and…well, okay, here’s a sneak preview of that above-mentioned post: Stefano and I spent a lovely long weekend in Paris recently. 🙂

We were lucky and managed to return to Florence right before Italy was hit by the coronavirus “hurricane.” Speaking of which, even though I think that the COVID-19 outbreak has generated a bit too much mass hysteria (in Florence, e.g., where thus far there have been only a couple of confirmed cases, people have been emptying supermarket shelves, and so on…), I have to admit that I’d really hate to catch that blasted virus because of my probably-still-weakened condition. So I’m being very cautious…trying to stay at home as much as possible…No hugs, no kisses…washing hands all the time, etc.

Ah, before I go: tomorrow I’m going to publish a post about a new curcumin-myeloma patient study!!! 🙂

Take care, everyone! 🙂

Curcumin and myeloma: a new patient study

A very small Indonesian study came up with some interesting conclusions about curcumin given to myeloma patients who were also taking melphalan and prednisone (MP): http://bit.ly/348vHwY

The study evaluated two groups of myeloma patients, a control group of 16 patients who took only the MP, and a treatment group consisting of 17 people who also took 8 grams of curcumin in addition to the MP.

After 28 days, as we can read in the study, “There was a significant decrease of NF-KB, VEGF, TNF-?, LDH levels in the treatment group compared with control. There was a decreasing trend of IL-6 levels in the treatment group significantly.”

Now, true, this was a very small study, and it lasted only for 28 days, but it just adds to the anecdotal evidence that curcumin can reaaaaaaaaaally help, even when one has to take conventional myeloma drugs.

So, for the umpteenth time, I ask: when are we going to start testing curcumin, alone or in combination with conventional MM drugs, on a larger scale?

(My guess: NEVER. Simply put, curcumin won’t make a profit for the pharmaceutical companies that hold us all hostage…).

Still, let’s end on a positive note: very good news from Indonesia!!! 🙂

Timed release of curcumin inhibits bone cancer cells…

Since I’ve been pretty much housebound because of my fractured humerus, I finally decided to go through our closets and get rid of all the clothes we don’t/can’t wear anymore. Of course, I have to be careful not to hurt my shoulder, and believe me, careful I am! But I can’t just lie around with the cats (our Pixie, in the photo) and watch TV series nonstop… 😉 

Speaking of my shoulder, well it’s healing…and healing well, I think. I can now raise my arm above my head. Compare that to a month ago when I could barely lift my arm! Thank you, physiotherapy!

I have my third checkup, with X-rays, at the hospital later this week…the day after my birthday, in fact. I’m anxious to see how I’m doing…Not “anxious” = “scared.” Just very very curious.

My life isn’t all about physical rehabilitation or cleaning closets, though. I’m also doing some reading and trying to keep up with…stuff. Last month I came across this bit of interesting news , e.g.: http://bit.ly/2LsLZv9

This excerpt that says it all: “A Washington State University research team has developed a drug delivery system using curcumin, the main ingredient in the spice turmeric, that successfully inhibits bone cancer cells while promoting growth of healthy bone cells.” When I’m done going through our closets 😉, I’ll have a look at the original study. In the meantime, it’s good to have further confirmation that our curcumin intake is most likely having a positive impact on our bones…

I hope everyone is doing well…This morning it rained in Florence for the first time since the beginning of this long boiling hot spell, and the horrible summer temperatures have gone down to tolerable levels. Life is good…at least for a day!!! 😀

Curcumin eye drops

I’ve been reading and researching curcumin for almost 13 years now, but I am still amazed at all the things it can do…

A new study shows that it might be able to treat the early stages of glaucomagoo.gl/W98w8x

That’s music to my ears, since glaucoma runs in my family…hmmmm, my eye pressure happens to be normal…I wonder if my high intake of curcumin might have something to do with that?

Excerpt from the above-mentioned Science Daily article: “‘Curcumin is an exciting compound that has shown promise at detecting and treating the neurodegeneration implicated in numerous eye and brain conditions from glaucoma to Alzheimer’s disease, so being able to administer it easily in eye drops may end up helping millions of people,’ said the study’s lead author, Professor Francesca Cordeiro (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Western Eye Hospital and Imperial College London).”

Millions of people…

According to the researchers, curcumin may someday be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease…Well, how about that? This is indeed one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in recent times…

“Crystal structure reveals how curcumin impairs cancer”

Wow, VERY EXCITING BIT OF NEWS that popped up in my Google Alerts yesterday.

My post title is the title of a new study revealing a previously unreported biochemical activity of curcumin. This very important study, carried out by three research teams (University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Peking University, and Zhejiang University), shows how curcumin attaches to, and INHIBITS, a gene called DYRK2, which is associated with cellular growth and/or development. This inhibition diminishes the proliferation of cancer cells. It reduces the tumor burden. 

How about THAT?

Here’s the link to the University of California San Diego School of Medicine press release: goo.gl/XPUz6G

Quote: “DYRK2 depletion impairs proteasome activity and exhibits slower cancer proliferation rates and significantly reduced tumor burden in mouse models. In combination with the FDA-approved multiple myeloma drug, carfilzomib, curcumin induced a much higher cancer cell death while normal non-cancerous cells were less affected. This suggest that targeting proteasome regulators (such as DYRK2) in combination with proteasome inhibitors may be a promising approach of anticancer therapy with less side-effects but further work is needed, said Banerjee.

Curcumin plus carfilzomib = HIGHER MM CELL DEATH. Food for thought.

One of the researchers involved in the study states the following: “In general, curcumin is expelled from the body quite fast. […] For curcumin to be an effective drug, it needs to be modified to enter the blood stream and stay in the body long enough to target the cancer. Owing to various chemical drawbacks, curcumin on its own may not be sufficient to completely reverse cancer in human patients.

I agree, of course. I never thought curcumin would (reverse cancer, that is, etc.). But I was also told by an expert that curcumin gets absorbed by our tissues, slurp slurp slurp!!!, within ten minutes or so after we swallow it. Well, whatever the case, curcumin has done me (and many of you, too!!!) a world of good in the past 12 and a half years…

And that is why, while waiting for researchers to come up with a truly effective, modified form of curcumin, I’m going to keep taking my daily eight grams of C3 Complex.  

Well, well. Curcumin never ceases to “wow” me, that’s for sure…

Researchers test curcumin in new bone-building study

After enhancing the bioavailability of curcumin using polymers, a group of Washington State University researchers proved that curcumin can increase bone growth by between 30% and 45%  in a matter of weeks: “The presence of curcumin in TCP results in enhanced bone formation after 6 weeks.” (Quoted from the abstract.)

The researchers are currently testing other natural extracts as well, namely “aloe vera, saffron, Vitamin D, garlic, oregano and ginger [… ] that might help with bone disorders, including those that encourage bone growth or that have anti-inflammatory, infection control, or anti-cancer properties.” (Quoted from Science Daily, see link below.)

The bone-forming qualities of curcumin are nothing new to us (I’ve written a number of posts on this topic), but it’s always good to learn that researchers are looking for, and apparently FINDING, new ways to make curcumin more bioavailable, especially if it has to do with our precious bones!

Note: this study was carried out on 3D-printed, ceramic bone scaffolds, not on human beings. So there is still a long way to go. Still, it is encouraging to have one more study prove the importance of curcumin for bone health and growth…

Curcumin forever!

Here’s the very interesting write-up in Science Daily (easy to read, to boot): goo.gl/MRxtK2 There is a link to the study’s abstract there, for those who want to know more.

Happy reading! 🙂

Not just myeloma

First bit of news: I’ve had absolutely no pain in my heel. It’s as good as new. I have to admit I’m still stunned…and I wonder if a more conventional doctor, let’s say a physiotherapist, would have made the connection between my relatively new eyeglass prescription and my heel pain. I doubt it.

This makes me wonder how many similar cases there are, of people who think they have plantar fasciitis or tendonitis or, sorry for the mention! 😉 , heel spurs, but whose pain actually originated in a different part of the body, an easy-to-fix part of the body. Mind-blowing, eh?

But the reason I’m writing today is that EBV, that is, the Epstein-Barr virus, is in the news again.

I wrote a few posts about the EBV connection to MGUS (and, therefore, to SMM and MM) back in October of 2017 when I came across an Italian study on this very topic, and then another bunch of posts in December and January, as I recall. To find and read these posts, all you have to do is put the acronym “EBV” in my blog’s “Search” box.

But now we have a more recent EBV study (which a dear SMM friend, thanks!!!, brought to my attention), conducted by a team at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, showing that this terrible virus is linked to SEVEN OTHER diseases, as follows: lupus, MS, RA, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. (!!!)

Here’s the link to the Science Daily article: goo.gl/FMyGe5

It’s a very interesting, easy-to-read article…a highly recommended read. As my friend commented, EBV has reached the mainstream now.

Here’s a food-for-thought excerpt from the SD article: “When viral and bacterial infections strike, our bodies respond by commanding B cells within our immune systems to crank out antibodies to battle the invaders. However, when EBV infections occur, something unusual happens. The EBV virus invades the B cells themselves, re-programs them, and takes over control of their functions.”

Given all the possibly dire consequences of an EBV infection, and given the fact that more than 90% of adults all over the world are antibody positive by the time they are 35 years old (freaky fact), we must take action. So, while we wait for an EBV vaccine to be developed (see article for more info), we need to build up our immune systems and, more importantly, those of our kids. How do we do that? Well, by looking up all the natural ways to block EBV…Curcumin would be at the top of my list: it prevents B cells infected with EBV from becoming immortal, etc. etc. etc. (check PubMed…I even found a study published back in 1998 about how curcumin affects EBV!)…There is lots we can do…

Oh how I wish I’d known all this stuff when I was in grad school, BEFORE I contracted this bloody virus, which, I just read, is an ancient fellow, perhaps 100 million years old…another freaky fact!!!

Anyway, it’s too late for me now…But it might NOT be late for you, so…get going! PREVENTION IS KEY!!! 🙂