Keith Virgin Shares Myeloma Clinical Trial (SWOG 120) Experience with CureTalk

Keith Virgin

Keith Virgin

Keith is a multiple myeloma survivor, being treated at the UAMS-Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy. We recently caught up with Keith and shared his myeloma story on CureTalk. If you missed it, click here for Keith’s myeloma experience.

Keith is part of a clinical trial and here we discuss the trial, and experience with him.

Me: You are participating in the SWOG 120 clinical trial at UAMS MIRT. What is the trial investigating?

Keith: This clinical trial sponsored by Southwest Oncology Group of which UAMS is a member, is investigating people who have MGUS and following them as part of the studies goal of determining who among the participants develop Myeloma.

Me: How long have you been part of the trial? What is the duration of the trial?

 Keith: I joined the study in October 2010. They intend to study me for 5 years, based upon their criteria, they treat individuals as needed for whatever condition is warranting treatment.

Me: How often are you monitored?

Keith: Initially, I was tested every 4 months, requiring trips to Little Rock and UAMS-MIRT. These tests included a BMB, Contrast CT scan, bone density, PET scan and many blood tests. In the fall of 2011, I began being tested every 9 months with the same testing schedule. I am now tested every 12 months. This is just the on-site Little Rock testing.

While at home, I am tested every 2 months with extensive blood work involving the Dr. B Boxes, famous in Little Rock, which I ship every other month to the UAMS. And, I have been receiving periodic Zometa infusions to alleviate my decreasing bone density caused by my elevated MGUS since July 2010.

Me: What has been your experience so far?

Keith: I have had slowly rising levels of IGG Kappa MGUS and now have smoldering Myeloma. Dr. Barlogie has prescribed the Zometa infusions which I receive locally from Sarah Buchanan Cancer Center in Nashville.

Me: Would you recommend clinical trials to other patients too? Why?

 Keith: Yes,  I believe strongly that early intervention can lead to promising statistically scientific data , which can be used by the researchers to find treatment options for not only myself but for the next generation of patients with MGUS and early precursor Myeloma.

Thank you, Keith. 

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