Once quickly lethal and still humbling, multiple myeloma may be in a ‘golden age’ of treatment

If you can call someone who gets a rare form of cancer lucky, then Deb Graff says she fits the bill. At age 72, Graff has survived nine years with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer whose life expectancy used to be measured in months. “I wasn’t ready to go anywhere,” said Graff, who lives in South Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod. “I wanted to see my grandkids grow up and still be an aggravation to my husband.” She was lucky enough to get multiple myeloma after the 2003 release of a drug called Velcade (bortezomib), one of the first therapies to directly target multiple myeloma. Velcade, plus more than 20 other approvals since then, have transformed multiple myeloma care. For three-quarters of patie

Using Medicine and Science to Improve the Quality of Life

Antoni Ribas Professor of medicine, surgery and molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles and a director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at U.C.L.A. In January 2012, R. Stewart Scannell’s doctor flatly informed him that melanoma had spread throughout his body and into his brain and he had just months to live. “There was no sympathy, no empathy, no nothing,” Mr. Scannell said. Mr. Scannell, who was 64 at the time, didn’t want to give up. He tracked down a clinical trial at U.C.L.A., and turned up in the office of Dr. Antoni Ribas. See the original story and read four more profiles here. The tone was so different, said Mr. Scannell, who has

About me

Cover COVID-19 

and patient safety

for USA Today.

Former long-time health/science

journalist, contributing to The

New York Times, The Washington Post, 

Scientific American.com, and others. Journalism educator and book author.

Contact:

kweintraub@usatoday.com

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