— Dante Alighieri
Thousands of myeloma patients before you have been sparks, helping to bring forward therapies that have increased the life span of myeloma patients around the world.
We believe that clinical trials are the only path towards better treatments, higher quality of life, and a cure for myeloma. Yet only a small number of myeloma patients will ever participate in a clinical trial. This leads to lengthy delays in new drug development and means it takes even longer for patients to gain access to newer, better therapies.
We want to give every patient the opportunity to be a spark, and we think that the best way to do that is by helping you understand your options when it comes to myeloma clinical trials and myeloma specialists.
My name is Brian McMahon. I'm the founder of SparkCures and a four-time cancer caregiver.
The search for clinical trials takes on a very personal note for me because my mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2005. She received a poor prognosis due to genetic factors and a late diagnosis. Within three weeks, we had her enrolled in a clinical trial. Participating in that trial gave my family two additional years with my mother that the doctors never thought would be possible.
Since then, I’ve cared for family members and friends who were diagnosed with cancer. As a caregiver, I’ve had clinical trial conversations with doctors from the University of Arkansas to Dana-Farber and a half dozen hospitals in between. I’ve used dozens of advocacy groups and websites to search for clinical trials.
I know how difficult it is to find them, to understand them and to have these conversations. I also know that there is a better way to help patients and caregivers understand and discover eligible clinical trials.
That's why I started SparkCures. We are here to help. If you have any questions or would like to connect with us, please feel free to call us at (888) 828-2206 or you can email me directly at [email protected].
The path towards newer, better treatments for myeloma patients is through clinical trials. Through our unique collaboration with the myeloma community, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, SparkCures makes it easy for myeloma patients to find, understand and join eligible clinical trials.
Our clinical trial matching service is always free for patients. As a for-profit company, our services are supported through partnerships with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. These companies sponsor trials and provide us with financial support as well as accurate, patient-friendly information on their clinical trials that oftentimes is not publicly available elsewhere.
If you have any questions on how our service works, please feel free to call us today: (888) 828-2206.
Our Patient Advisory Board is a volunteer group of myeloma patients. They provide feedback and guidance to help ensure that:
Multiple Myeloma Patient
"Less than 3% of myeloma patients participate in clinical trials. This IS how research moves forward. If we tripled or quadrupled that percentage, researchers could come to their conclusions at an accelerated pace."Myeloma Crowd Twitter
Multiple Myeloma Patient
"If you’re looking for the newest treatment, find a clinical trial. Participating in a trial also allows you the opportunity to help others and move science forward."
Smoldering Multiple Myeloma Patient
"The bottom line is that you have to look at clinical trials. You have to remember that the standard of care for myeloma patients is not working. If it were, we'd be curing all myeloma patients now."
Dana is a smoldering multiple myeloma patient and the creator of the Smoldering "Asymptomatic" Multiple Myeloma (SMM) Facebook Group. It's a group dedicated to information exchange for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of smoldering myeloma.Smoldering Facebook Group Twitter
Multiple Myeloma Caregiver
"When my husband was diagnosed with high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma, we both went into shock. The process of educating ourselves about doctors and treatments and trials was daunting. We quickly learned that this cancer has NO CURE and that the current SOC (Standard of Care) cannot even guarantee remission. Given this, with the encouragement of every doctor we consulted with, we moved on to looking for clinical trials in the belief that cutting edge research with new drugs could be our best path forward toward either a cure or remission. We have never been treated like guinea pigs and none of the trials we've considered have placebo options to them. We encourage everyone facing this disease at any stage, to give serious consideration to clinical trials."Immunotherapy Facebook Group
Multiple Myeloma Patient
Being a patient with a rare cancer means facing an overwhelming number of unanswered questions and too few treatment options. For many of us, clinical trials are our only, or best hope but the process of finding a trial can be daunting and exhausting. Thanks to SparkCures, myeloma patients now have a "teammate" in searching for what can seem like a needle in a haystack—a trial that is a good fit.
Over the past several years, SparkCures has helped many, many patients find effective treatments through trials. I, for one, am still alive today only because of clinical trials. And, importantly, participating in clinical trials helps advance the search for a cure. I hope to do what I can to prevent others from going through what I have had to endure with myeloma, and joining clinical trials is a step in that direction.
"At my cancer center, there are a couple of flyers on the wall for clinical trials and they've been there for two years - the same ones with the same dates. This is what we're up against and this is why SparkCures is so beneficial to patients. It's a great service. I feel secure knowing that they are there to help me find and understand my clinical trial options."
"As a myeloma patient, I fully understand how critically important it is to participate in clinical trials. First, patients get the best treatment or the new best treatment available. Second, clinical trials are the only way a cure will be found. It's a win-win. I have participated in a clinical trial and highly recommend it to any patient."
Our Medical Advisory Board is a group of myeloma specialists who provide feedback and guidance to help ensure that:
Craig C. Hofmeister, MD, MPH, is Acting Associate Professor of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Board certified in internal medicine and hematology, Dr. Hofmeister’s practice focuses on plasma cell cancers, including plasmacytomas, multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, smoldering myeloma, and monoclonal gammopathies of renal significance.Learn More
The research of Shaji Kumar, M.D., focuses on development of novel drugs for treatment of myeloma. Dr. Kumar's research team evaluates the in vitro activity of novel drugs that, based on their mechanisms of action, are likely to have activity in the setting of myeloma. Promising drugs are brought into the clinic through early-stage clinical trials in Phase I or II studies.
Dr. Kumar also evaluates novel combinations of different drugs to identify synergistic combinations that can result in better treatment responses and eventually better patient outcomes. His work on drug development is complemented by an active program studying the biology of myeloma, with a focus on the study of bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma and how it influences the tumor cells, especially the increased bone marrow microvessels seen in myeloma. His clinical research focuses on outcomes of patients with myeloma and amyloidosis, especially high-risk disease.Learn More Twitter
Dr. Jethava completed his subspecialty training in Clinical Hematology from University of London, UK and subsequently worked at King’s College Hospital, London. He was then appointed Director of Bone Marrow Transplant services at University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences, Little Rock. While at UAMS he established the only Allogeneic Transplant Program in the state of Arkansas.
Currently, he serves as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Iowa. He has been Principal Investigator (PI) and co-investigator for phase I, phase II and phase III trials.
Dr. Jethava is member of International Myeloma working group, and has extensive experience in Allogeneic Transplant, Autologous transplant and Commercial CAR T Cell Therapies. He is actively involved in research at University of Iowa and his research focus is on drug resistance in myeloma and preventing progression of smoldering myeloma to myeloma.Learn More
Dr. Banerjee's research interests lie at the intersection of digital health and multiple myeloma. He is particularly interested in smartphone apps, electronic patient-reported outcome (PRO) workflows, and other web-based platforms to help patients with multiple myeloma rebuild their lives after their diagnoses. He is the Principal Investigator for a number of trials investigating digital health platforms within malignant hematology at the University of California San Francisco. He has also researched the impact of geographic distances on both clinical outcomes and PROs after stem cell transplantation.
Particularly for patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma, searching for clinical trials can simultaneously be both uplifting and overwhelming. Dr. Banerjee is excited about innovative strategies to pair the right patients with the right trials with the dual goals of (1) helping patients live longer (and better!) and (2) increasing the accessibility of innovative anti-myeloma therapies in regardless of a patient's ZIP code.Learn More Twitter