BY GARY PETERSEN Since this post was first published I have gotten a number of comments about specialists who were not selected. I also placed a lot of weight on those who had published or provided exceptional survival rates. I did this because I believe you can not manage that which you do not measure. However, many facilities that do not supply survival statistics use clinical trial results as a surrogate or substitute for actual survival data and treatment guidance. I also did not allow more than one from each facility. The most important takeaway for a myeloma patient is to have a myeloma specialist on your team, and you can find a listing of well over 200 if you CLICK HERE. In my work at www.myelomasurvival.com, I have had the opportunity to interact with many myeloma specialists, review their survival and life expectancy data, observe their leadership in myeloma research and treatment, and their work with international organizations like the IMF and the MMRF. It is my belief, a select few myeloma specialists stand above the rest. These myeloma specialists are innovators, leaders, teachers, patient centric, dedicated, extremely skilled in myeloma treatment, driven, have well above average life expectancies and survival rates, and are just exceptionally caring and kind individuals. It is not that all of the myeloma specialists do not have these characteristics, but there is a cream that rises to the surface. So who are the top picks? THE GREAT EIGHT In alphabetical order, our SUPER myeloma specialists. Dr. Barlogie - UAMS, Little Rock AR Dr. Berenson - IMBCR - Los Angeles,CA Dr. Hari - Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI Dr. San Miguel - University Hospital, Salamanca, Spain Dr. Orlowski - M.D Anderson, Houston, TX Dr. Palumbo - University of Torino, Italy Dr. Rajkumar - Mayo, Rochester, MN Dr. Richardson - Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA Everyone will have an opinion, however, I think few can deny the quality of myeloma specialists represented on this list. Many people will not be able to chose one of these doctors for their doctor for a number of reasons, however there is a good chance you can get a second opinion from one of them which could be the template for your local myeloma specialist to implement. If you can not, then selecting one from the list of myeloma specialists who have excellent outcomes would be a great option. What is remarkable about the GREAT EIGHT is they each have their own treatment philosophy which goes from "Less is Best" to "More is Cure", and due to their experience and skill have provided exceptional outcomes for their patient's. Some of the feedback from the doctors on the list was just so thoughtful and meant so much to to us about our efforts to help the myeloma patient community, we just had to include it in this post. These included the following:
Thanks for the honor. I am always humbled by the love and respect of patients. You in particular have been a wonderful resource for myeloma patients worldwide. Thanks Gary! You are a gem and thank you so much! Thanks for the great honor to be included in this group. Gary: Thanks for including me on your list. We are updating our survival curves and should have data soon. It is amazing how much better our patients are doing over the past few years.
To these GREAT EIGHT, I am honored and thankful for all of their SUPER efforts. Good Luck and God Bless OUR Myeloma Journey.
about the author
Gary is a myeloma survivor and patient advocate. His work centers around helping patients live longer by helping them to find facilities who are beating the average survival statistics. You can find Gary's site at www.myelomasurvival.com and follow him on Twitter at @grpetersen1