Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Myeloma News: New drug may help treat anemia for those with chronic illnesses (like myeloma)

For my myeloma readers. My latest on www.myelomacrowd.org. One more potential breakthrough in treating myeloma, hooray! Progress, big and small, is great. Now crossing fingers that I get approved to attend the ASH conference in December to learn more.

Study: New drug may help treat anemia for those with chronic illnesses (including myeloma)

Study: New drug may help treat anemia for those with chronic illnesses (including myeloma)

BY LIZZY SMITH

We multiple myeloma patients know anemia all too well—that feeling of extreme fatigue and exhaustion when doing mundane chores, like going grocery shopping or putting laundry away, is often a struggle. When I was severely anemic, simply climbing up the few short steps from my bedroom to the kitchen left me winded and dizzy. It was an awful, debilitating feeling. The reason for feeling this way is because our bodies aren’t producing enough red blood cells to do its job properly. With myeloma, our bone marrow can’t produce new healthy red blood cells so simply increasing our iron levels isn’t a fix (like it would be in an otherwise healthier person). This type of anemia is called “anemia of inflammation.” And currently, the only way to alleviate it is to address its underlying cause, the cancer. (Of course, we all still want to treat our cancer, but finding other ways to address our symptoms is a good thing!)

But new a new option for treating “anemia of inflammation” may be on its way. It doesn’t mean this treatment will “fix” or treat the myeloma, but it may help with the anemia part of it.

An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood’s iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anemia of inflammation, according to results from the first human study of the treatment published online in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

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