Patient Becomes Donor to Help Find Cure for Multiple Myeloma
In 2015 Jim Lubinsky’s cancer diagnosis came with even more sobering news: His particular type of cancer, multiple myeloma, has no cure.
Jim turned to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), where experts enrolled him in a clinical trial.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow, specifically a cancer of plasma cells, the white blood cells that produce antibodies. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in a person’s bone marrow, forcing out healthy blood cells.
Thankfully in Jim’s case, the trial worked. Jim, 71, has smoldering myeloma, which means the disease is still in its earliest stages. The trial brought his plasma levels back to where they should be, but eventually the disease will fight back.
Jim’s goal is to keep multiple myeloma in check for the next 20 years.
“My belief is they are going to find a cure for it in that time,” he says.
In the past, treating multiple myeloma’s earliest stages meant chemotherapy. But because of breakthroughs at the OSUCCC – James, therapies built on the patient’s immune system are possible. In October, Jim underwent a stem cell transplant that, while not a forever answer, is one that he and his doctors believe will buy him more time that researchers will spend working to find a cure for multiple myeloma.
Jim, who started sailing 20 years ago, intends to spend his days on the water and with his family. This year he chose to give $10,000 to multiple myeloma research at the OSUCCC – James. In the spirit of the holiday season, that money will go to match donations to multiple myeloma research through Dec. 31.
“There is a very strong potential to find a cure in the next several years,” Jim says. “It just needs that extra push to fund the research to finish the work that gets it done.”