Myeloma treatment could be advanced by discovery

Have you seen this news?  Could this lead to more effective myeloma treatment?

Multiple Myeloma Genome Unlocked
Discovery paves way for better therapies for some blood cancer patients, experts say
Posted July 29, 2009

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) — The sequencing of the first three multiple myeloma whole genomes has been completed by U.S. scientists, who said this success will lead to a better understanding of this form of blood cancer and advance efforts to develop new therapies.

The analysis of DNA from more than 50 patient samples was conducted as part of the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative. Overall, more than 250 patient samples have been collected and additional multiple myeloma genomes are being sequenced, according to a news release from The Broad Institute.

The first three complete genomes should be available online to researchers within the next several months, the news release stated.

The data from this research “will play an important role in developing better treatment options for individuals who derive little benefit from existing therapies and may ultimately help provide multiple myeloma patients with the most appropriate treatment for his or her disease. Furthermore, knowledge from this effort could also benefit patients with other types of cancer,” Louise Perkins, chief scientific officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), said in a news release from the Broad Institute.

This research initiative “has created an unprecedented opportunity to examine an extraordinary breadth of genomic information to pinpoint the most important genes and cellular processes driving the disease,” added Jeffrey Trent, co-principal investigator on the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative. “Such a remarkable dataset exists for very few other cancers; it will no doubt pave the way toward personalized medicine for multiple myeloma patients.”

Planning For Your Pets/Animals in a Disaster

On Saturday, August 22nd , beginning at 2pm, at the Owens Auditorium at the Sandhills Community College, the County Animal Response Team (CART) will be hosting an invaluable event for those owning or caring for pets and/or domesticated animals in Moore County. A free showing of the award-winning documentary, “Katrina Tails,” will be followed by a presentation and discussion about Moore County’s newly-revised Animal Response Plan to be executed during disasters. Call 910-947-2858 for more details.

More information:

GROUNDBREAKING DISASTER PLAN FOR MOORE COUNTY’S ANIMALS

On August 22nd, the County Animal Response Team (CART) will be hosting an invaluable event for those owning or caring for pets and domesticated animals in Moore County. A free showing of the 2008 Accolade Award-winning documentary, “Katrina Tails,” will be followed by a presentation and discussion about Moore County’s newly-revised Animal Response Plan. The event will take place at the Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College beginning at 2pm.

Doug Harris, a Katrina victim, remembers being asked to leave his pets behind: “We were informed that buses would be taking everyone to higher ground and we would not be able to take our pets with us,” he said. “The worst was being forced to walk away from my beloved dogs who loved and protected us for years and would never have done that to us for any reason.”

We are all haunted by the TV footage and photos of scared and hungry animals left behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Long after the flood receded, the heartbreak continued as people searched for their lost pets.

Back in 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act into law.

This landmark legislation requires local and state disaster plans to include provisions for household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency.

With more than 358 million pets in the country residing in 63 percent of American households, the PETS Act helps ensure that Americans never again are faced with the choice of abandoning their pet and finding their way to safety or staying with their pet and remaining in a hazardous and potentially life-threatening situation.

Moore County’s Animal Response Team is chaired by Scot Brooks, the County Emergency Manager and Deputy Director of Public Safety. It brings together representatives from the NC Department of Agriculture, the County Department of Animal Operations, the Fire Department, the NC Cooperative Extension Service, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the NC Veterinary Alliance, the American Red Cross, the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team, and Moore County’s Pet Responsibility Committee.

Over the past two years, the Team has met and worked on an Animal Response Plan which considers not only pets and service animals, but all domesticated animals in Moore County. It has also included provisions for wildlife.

Plans have been made with Southern Middle School in Aberdeen designating it as a “Co-Located Shelter,” that is, a shelter that accepts both people and their pets.

Meetings have been held with a group of local veterinarians and decisions are being finalized regarding locations for the care and treatment of sick and injured animals in a disaster or emergency.

Contact information for local, State and National animal rescue resources has been compiled for quick access. A plan for a database of local volunteers to help with the animals in an emergency is underway.

The event at the end of August is designed to help residents prepare, plan and stay informed regarding the safety of their pets and animals in a disaster.

Members of the CART will be on hand at the event to answer questions and a number of booths will distribute related information. The Moore County CAMET (Companion Animal Mobile Equipment Trailer), a vehicle designed to quickly enable the setup of an emergency pet shelter will also be on display for the public to see, as will an equine ambulance designed to transport injured horses. Residents may also talk to a CART representative about signing up to be a member of the disaster volunteer pool.

In these uncertain times, there is one thing we can unfortunately be sure of: there will be emergencies and disasters. Animals and humans are profoundly impacted by these unexpected and many times unpredictable events. However, with advance preparation by individuals and government agencies working together within a community, the better everyone is able to effectively respond to the crisis.

For more information regarding the event, please call Animal Services at 910-947-2858.

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

A list member just told us about this. Thanks, Sandy!

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

Help with myeloma treatment travel expenses‘Door to Door’ initiative offers individual grants to patients to help defray costs of transportation to and from medical care

NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire/ — CancerCare announced today the launch of the “Door to Door” program for patients with multiple myeloma. CancerCare’s program will provide individual grants of up to $600 annually to multiple myeloma patients for covering transportation costs such as gasoline and taxi, bus or train fare to and from their medical care.

The program is funded in part by a generous grant from Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. CancerCare is a national non-profit organization based in New York City that provides free support services to people affected by cancer.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that is diagnosed in approximately 20,000 people annually in the U.S. Advances in the treatment of this cancer have dramatically increased patients’ life expectancy (an estimated 60,000 people in the U.S. are now living with multiple myeloma) and consequently lengthened the duration of treatment.

“Because of the nature of their therapies and the disease itself, many multiple myeloma patients may be required to visit their doctors several times a week over many months. Particularly for patients on a fixed income, these travel expenses add up and create a financial burden that may prevent them from keeping up with their health care,” noted Diane Blum, executive director of CancerCare. “The Door to Door program will provide much-needed relief to this patient population, and we are grateful for Millennium’s support.”

Founded in 1944, CancerCare has a long track record of providing financial assistance to people facing cancer; it is a cornerstone of its direct support services to help people cope with the emotional and practical issues of a cancer diagnosis. During fiscal year 2009, CancerCare provided over $4.2 million in grants to more than 24,000 people with cancer to cover treatment-related costs like transportation, child care and medications for side effects.

Last year CancerCare launched a separate foundation to help cancer patients cover the cost of their health insurance co-payments for certain types of treatments. To date, the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation has assisted thousands of people undergoing cancer treatments with grants of up to $10,000.

To receive a Door to Door transportation grant, patients must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete an application form. The form can be viewed on the CancerCare website at www.cancercare.org.

For more information about the CancerCare Door to Door program, contact Jeanie M. Barnett, director of communications, at 212-712-6137; or email jbarnett@cancercare.org. For more information about multiple myeloma, see CancerCare’s free Connect booklet, Advances in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, available to order or download from the CancerCare
website.

About CancerCare

CancerCare is a national non-profit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs – including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help – are led by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Founded in 1944, CancerCare now provides individual help to more than 100,000 people each year, and has more than
one million unique visitors annually to its websites. For more information, call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org.

Kittenocity

Cute kittyKittens are the cutest things on the planet, there’s no doubt.  I could watch them for hours.  There are times when their kittenish antics make me laugh out loud. The kittens’ mothers are getting a little tired of their offspring though.  They want to be let out of their room to roam the house, and it’s harder to get them to go back in there than it was a couple of days ago.

I’d like to encourage those seeking companion animals to look for a local animal rescue group from which to adopt. They usually vet the animals and make sure they’re suitable for a particular situation.  In my case, I now know that the mother cats are completely accepting of other cats and dogs, and are not at all aggressive. They like children, too. None of the cats flinched when I turned on the vacuum cleaner!

Animal Advocates of Moore County is going to be having an adoption fair soon:

Where: Local Armory on Morganton Road

When:  July 11th 2009

Time:  Noon to 6 PM

Rabies Shots Given by Frank Ringleberg of Animal Control….$5.00
Nail Trim by famous groomer Karen Richardson……$5.00

Nail Painting by Karen Richardson……………………$5.00

The Lunch Box will be selling Hot Dogs and Drinks

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe – No Eggs – No Cooking

I copied a friend’s recipe to spread around for people who’re making ice cream for the 4th of July.

Deb’s House Concerts

This is the easiest recipe I found. It uses no eggs. It requires no cooking. It’s super-easy! :) That’s what I like for my “Cooking for the Motivationally Challenged” posts. :) And, that’s what I like for myself, too! ;)

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe for a 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker

Stir the following together and chill in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, before pouring into your ice cream maker. (The only variation I made is that my freezer wants only 4 cups of the recipe, and it expands to 6 cups while it freezes. I mixed the recipe below, then poured in 4 cups and saved the rest for the next batch.)

No-Cook Homemade Ice Cream
Southern Living , Aug 2004 by Dosier, Susan

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups whole milk

That’s all. That’s it. It’s that easy.

Just be sure your freezer tub insert has been in the freezer long enough to freeze liquid on contact. And, chill your ingredients long enough to have it really cold before adding it to the freezer. And, after the ice cream is ready, put it into an airtight container and put it into your freezer (if you don’t eat it all in one sitting!). :)

Two Recipes of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I made two batches today. Actually, I mixed up the recipe last night, and made the first run this morning. Then, I thought the freezer can was still cold enough, so I mixed more and poured it in. (I did not follow the instructions to chill the ingredients before freezing or to add them to the freezer can straight from the freezer.) The second time it didn’t work. So, at this point, the recipe ingredients are cooling in the refrigerator and the freezer can is in the freezer. Maybe I’ll freeze the second batch tomorrow.

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More kitteny goodness

More kitteny goodness
More kitteny goodness

It’s not all purrs and frolicking here.  Not for me, anyway. I knew it wouln’t be easy taking care of 7 kittens and their 2 mothers, but I wasn’t prepared for the smell!  In no time flat, the room in which I’m keeping the cats has taken on a pretty icky odor.  I’m off work tomorrow, so I’ll spend some time cleaning up in there. I’m sure I’ll discover some hidden surprises.

The cats have begun to hang out right by the door, so when I open it to go in to feed, scoop or play, they try to escape. The 2 mothers are the first to slip past.  The kittens are easier to herd back into the room because they’re still a little afraid of me. A few have gotten out, and presents a challenge.  They head straight for any piece of furniture or appliance they can hide behind. The heavier, the better. I have to plan a strategy for dealing with the escape attempts so nobody’s lost in the house and there aren’t any encounters with my cranky cat.

My nephew has been dying to come and help me with them, but he’s been sick and has had to stay home. I hope he’ll feel better soon.

If you know anyone in the area who could give any of these cats a great home, let me know.

Invasion of the kittens

Peeps
Peeps

The Animal Advocates of Moore County (AAMC) did a huge favor for me.  In February, a cat started hanging around my house. It was pretty cold, and I felt bad for her.  I started feeding her and tried to coax her into the house.  I finally tricked her into coming into the house on her own.  I called AAMC to see if they knew of anyone who was missing their cat.  She was extremely sweet and a beautiful cat.  Someone came to get her, and she was taken to a vet to be checked over.  She was such a great cat that I decided to keep her.

About a month after her arrival, Peeps developed paralysis in her back legs. I took her to a few vets to see what could be done for her. They had me convinced that she’d never recover and we’d eventually have to have her euthanized. It was heartbreaking. I emailed AAMC to find out if anyone there had any experience with paralysis in a cat. Barb, from AAMC, actually came to my house and picked her up to take her to their vet!  She then kept her for a few weeks while Peeps underwent treatment with steroids (yuck). Peeps was able to walk when she got home!  So, I owe AAMC big time.

Today I received a couple of mother cats and their litters of kittens.  I think there are 7 kittens.  I’d have to count to be sure. I’ll keep them here until homes are found for them all. Fostering these cats is the least I can do to try to repay the folks at AAMC.

Would you like to adopt a kitten?
Would you like to adopt a kitten?