Raising Millions for Myeloma


Airing: Episode 484, Week of Saturday March 9, 2019

One of Hollywood’s most successful fundraisers every year is the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund a comedy gala raising millions of dollars since its inception. The fund supports the International myeloma foundation and Black Swan initiative to fight the cancer that took the actor’s life in 2006.

A new combination of immunotherapies are offering hope in the battle against this rare and currently incurable cancer. More than 32 thousand adults from all walks of life will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the US this year and nearly thirteen thousand will die from the cancer that originates in the bone marrow.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow, it’s so-called plasma cells and they are part of the immune system, they get cancerous and they cause different symptoms like bone pain broken bones and kidney dysfunction or low blood counts. While there remains no cure, recent breakthroughs and immunotherapy are helping certain affected adults live longer more fulfilling lives.

This chronic disease needs more treatment options and there has recently been an approval for a combination of dexamethasone which has been shown that it was superior. Dexamethasone a former treatment option in a clinical trial is at the center of many breakthroughs in the cancer fight. Engaging the patient’s own immune system to rejoin the battle is what the immune system is supposed to do, but in certain cases when cancer develops it went wrong.

Some drugs for example implicitly engage immune cells to attack the cancer cells and kind of reveal that there are cancer cells and then they connect immune cells with the cancer cells so that the immune cells can kill the cancer cells.