Monday, January 7, 2008

M-spike is down and staying down!

The M-spike is the specific marker for multiple myeloma. It is secreted by mutant plasma cells, and Richie's initial value was close to 9.0. Once the initial Velcade/Doxil/Dextamethasone treatments were given, the M-spike dropped first to around 3.5, then to 1.5, then down below 1.0 to where it's pretty much been since June. In December, the M-spike was down to a point where it's referred to as being a "trace band" where the actual value is so low it cannot be reliably measured. Basically the take home message is that the myeloma has been knocked down to molecular remission. It's still there...cowering in the shadows, waiting for a moment when Richie weakens and it can pounce. But it has been effectively beaten down to the point where it is at a standstill. On the 10th it will be four months since the transplant. Awesome.