Living with Multiple Myeloma
Featuring Dr. Cristina Gasparetto
Donna K. was just 59 years old when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that starts in plasma cells, one kind of white blood cell. There were no obvious symptoms – she discovered the myeloma through a blood test and went through one of the most aggressive treatment regimens of that time (“Total Therapy”).
In our educational series, this avid cyclist and grandmother details her five lines of therapy, from heavy chemotherapy with two stem cell transplants through many triplet combinations, including the selinexor+carfilzomib+dexamethasone combination she’s currently on.
Also part of this conversation is Donna’s oncologist and top myeloma specialist, the Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at Duke Health, Dr. Cristina Gasparetto, who delves into the STOMP clinical trial that Donna is a part of and with which she has found success.
These interviews have only been edited for clarity. Thank you to Karyopharm Therapeutics for its support of our educational program.
In this video, Donna details her diagnosis through her first relapses, living with multiple myeloma, and shares the patient perspective of how she came to make her treatment decisions.
Her current oncologist, top multiple myeloma specialist Dr. Cristina Gasparetto of Duke, also shares how she helps her patients arrive at treatment decisions at each juncture, and what patients should be asking their own doctors.
What is it like being on a clinical trial? Hear in-depth details of the experience from Donna, as a patient, and from Dr. Gasparetto, as a doctor who fights for her patients to get in these potentially life-saving trials.
In this segment, Donna and Dr. Gasparetto share more about the different lines of therapy, including the one Donna’s on (as of publication date) that’s gotten her back into complete remission – a selinexor + carfilzomib + dex combination.
More relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma stories
Diagnosis:Multiple myeloma, relapsed/refractory
Subtype: Non-secretory (1-5% of myelomas)
1st Symptoms:Extreme pain between shoulder blades, sternum, head, burning sensation
1st Line Treatment:VAD chemo, radiation, stem cell transplant
RR Treatment: 8 chemo regimens, successful combo→selinexor+bortezomib+dexamethasone
Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma, relapsed/refractorySubtype:IgG lambda (majorityof myelomas)
1st Symptoms: Pain in hips and ribs, night sweats, weight loss, nausea
Treatment: Clinical trial, chemo, kyphoplasty, stem cell transplant