Super strength immune cells fighting cancer

BACKGROUND: Multiple myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow. Plasma cells normally make proteins called antibodies to help you fight infections. In multiple myeloma, a group of plasma cells (myeloma cells) becomes cancerous and multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com/health/multiple-myeloma)

ESTIMATED NEW CASES AND DEATHS: It is estimated that in the US over 22 thousand people will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and over half of them will die from the disease in 2013. (SOURCE: www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/myeloma)

SYMPTOMS: No one knows the exact causes of multiple myeloma, but it is more common in older people and African Americans. It can also run in families. Common symptoms may include:

·         Bone pain, often in the back or ribs

·         Broken bones

·         Weakness or fatigue

·         Weight loss

·         Repeated infections

·         Frequent infections and fevers

·         Feeling very thirsty

·         Frequent urination

(SOURCE: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/multiplemyeloma.html)

LATEST MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: While there's no cure for multiple myeloma, with good treatment results patients can usually return to near-normal activity. There are several treatment options, including stem cell transplantation. This treatment involves using high-dose chemotherapy — usually high doses of melphalan — along with transfusion of previously collected immature blood cells (stem cells) to replace diseased or damaged marrow. The stem cells can come from the patient or from a donor, and they may be from either blood or bone marrow. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com/health/multiple-myeloma)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Karen E. Warmkessel
Media Relations Manager
University of Maryland Medical Center/University of Maryland Medical System
kwarmkessel@umm.edu

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Céline McArthur at cmcarthur@ivanhoe.com.


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