The Judy and Bernard Briskin Laboratory of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR) has boldly set out to reimagine drug development strategies for multiple myeloma. Working with other centers of excellence and industry leaders from around the world, we have developed novel therapeutic and monitoring approaches. This is helping to expand treatment options and personalize care for multiple myeloma patients so that they can realize their best outcomes.
Published groundbreaking research from IMBCR has provided the gateway to transformative clinical trials resulting in superior outcomes for patients. This has resulted in an extended life expectancy for myeloma patients – on the average of a decade today and continues to improve!
Read the stories of patients who have been directly impacted by IMBCR research efforts and are
Living Their Best Life!
During an executive physical in 2016, I had an abnormal protein spike. After meeting with their hematologist, I searched, literally the world for the best of the best. I came across IMBCR, a research group dedicated to advancing the treatment of multiple myeloma. I then met with Dr Berenson, a clinician who applies this knowledge to his practice. After looking at the total package, I hands down went with Dr Berenson. His knowledge and enthusiasm are incredible. His people are top notch; the caring and professionalism they have are greatly appreciated.
The first time I met with Dr Berenson I was scared, big time. He helped me relax. Especially knowing they are on my team has a very calming effect.
Today, I don’t really have any pain and the drugs are not messing with my mind. If one drug does not work for you, he will come up with another one. My life has not changed as far as activities, still golf, ski, walk etc.
Dr. Berenson is truly an amazing person. This is what he does. Every time I meet with him, I walk out of there thinking that same thing. I am extremely thankful to Dr Berenson, his team, & the research conducted at IMBCR. I have been a financial supporter to IMBCR since my first visit to there office.
It came out of no-where, I had no symptoms. My hematologist called to see me and informed us that my MGUS had progressed to full blown multiple myeloma – and my life expectancy would be no more than 1-2 years! My wife and I started crying and requested a second opinion from the Mayo Clinic, and he instead informed us that there “happened to be” a multiple myeloma specialist (Dr. B.) practicing right here in my back yard. I made immediate contact, squeezed myself in with all my records, and the next day Dr. B. proceeded to soothe us by saying there is plenty of hope and not to panic.
Here we are now – 14 amazing years later. I am living my best life – and going strong!
IMBCR research, Dr. B.’s personal attention, as well as his understanding my needs, and encouraging me to maintain my quality of life during treatment, especially travel throughout the world, have enabled me to continue “LIVING MY BEST LIFE.”
I am a physician who has been a competitive and solo athlete all my life. My iPhone tells me that, despite being in the ultimate year of my 70s, I averaged over three miles a day of running in 2019. The year 2020 was quite different!
Starting in January 2020, I experienced what was at first subtle but then quickly progressive bone pain, nerve tingling, profound weakness, and easy fatiguability. I saw my primary care physician. She ordered exams and then referred me to a local oncologist, who, on February 24th, told me I had multiple myeloma. What he did not tell me until four months later, and I was now out of the (those very dark) woods, but I had been on death’s door. His words. He said he would welcome me into his care.
Being a guy who dots his i’s and crosses his t’s and who sensed that I needed the best possible care I could find, I scrutinized the www to seek what I needed. That’s all that I did for a day. It would be an understatement to say I was lucky or fortunate that I saw Dr Berenson’s website. I immediately knew that he would be an excellent fit for me and that I was unlikely to receive better care anywhere.
I phoned Dr Berenson’s office that day and given an appointment one day later at 6:30 AM. I could hardly believe it. When I got to his office, it was staffed only by Dr B and his receptionist, Susan. Other staff came in later. After a thorough, head-to-toe physical exam and an in-depth interrogation of my life’s story, he drilled my iliac bone to extract marrow and initiated my IV therapy. He gave me a personalized set of instructions for how my care should proceed. He does not let the grass grow under his feet when providing personal, excellent care to his patients.
I could say it was a dream come true, but I think of it as a nightmare turned into a beautiful dream, and I am alive to tell the tale. By the way, having taken many spills while running, I have given that up in exchange for brisk walking. With ease, I now walk four to five miles every other day.
Dr B has hand-tailored my care to attack my illness and meet my needs. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been able to do this because of the groundbreaking work that is ongoing at the IMBCR. This research also helps physicians worldwide to take better care of their patients, which makes me feel good.
I am alive because of his treatment. I tell people that, “If I didn’t know I have cancer, I wouldn’t know I was sick.” I am LIVING MY BEST LIFE!
My most profound appreciation goes to Jim Berenson, IMBCR, and BCC.
To quote the actress Betty Davis, “Getting old is not for sissies”, and I have not been spared to have issues with my health. My diagnosis with multiple myeloma was initially discovered seven years ago when I had a CAT scan looking for something else. I was recommended by a world-renowned oncologist to contact Dr. James Berenson to deal with it and I am most grateful for this. For the first five years, the multiple myeloma was smoldering not full blown. The condition worsened, and I was put on a chemo regimen. Dr. Berenson believes in treatment that lets a patient lead the best life possible. I have been able to continue my ability to travel anywhere my heart or my wife Suzanne desires (though not for the last nine months – due to Covid) and to exercise, play tennis, and do yoga.
I have personally been a big supporter of the research conducted at IMBCR. As a result of this research, IMBCR and Dr. Berenson identified a marker that shows if a regimen of drug used in treatment is helping along with a combination of JAK inhibitors with immunomodulatory agents for cancer applications. I have seen these findings benefit Dr. Berenson’s patients directly.
Read the stories of patients who have been directly impacted by IMBCR research efforts and are “Living Their Best Life!”
Hope, Quality of Life, Love, Living, Passion, Curiosity
The IMBCR Patient Impact
I have WHAT?
I have WHAT? is a helpful resource for patients as well as their families and caregivers. Patients share candid stories about their experiences with Multiple Myeloma, Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, Amyloidosis, and MGUS (Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance). The book also contains practical advice from healthcare professionals who are experts at caring for these patients.
The third edition features the latest information regarding these diseases and is now available for purchase.
All proceeds will support IMBCR which is a 501(c)3 and tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Available for purchase: $45
Purchase price includes cost of book ($40) plus shipping and handling ($5).
Call 310-623-1214 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain your book ($40) in person.