Cindy Brown’s Instagram handle is “Cindy the Conqueror,” which sums up her attitude toward multiple myeloma. “I’m going to beat this, whatever comes my way,” she said.
Brown’s allies in her seven-year fight against this complex type of blood cancer are her family, friends, and City of Hope Orange County. Brown is grateful for City of Hope’s highly specialized cancer care and pioneering research, which for Brown includes a stem cell transplant and an innovative clinical trial led by Amrita Krishnan, M.D.
Dr. Krishnan is a noted multiple myeloma physician and researcher. She practices at City of Hope Newport Beach Fashion Island and serves as the director of City of Hope’s Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research.
Brown said the early results of the trial have been so promising that the research is being fast-tracked. “It’s been working incredibly well for me,” Brown says of the investigational immunotherapy drug she is receiving.
“She’s brilliant,” Brown said of Dr. Krishnan. “It’s so important with any disease — especially multiple myeloma, because it behaves differently in everyone — to have a doctor who is focused and really understands how to treat your specific type of cancer.”
Brown also appreciates how Dr. Krishnan combines her scientific expertise with compassionate, supportive care.
“We had been looking for the right clinical trial for a while because it had to match the type of stem cell transplant that I had,” Brown said. “When Dr. Krishnan found a place in this trial for me, she was like a kid on Christmas morning. She was so excited and upbeat. And she made me feel good about this choice, because even though it’s her recommendation, it’s my decision. She really thinks about the long-term impact and how it affects my ability to do certain things, which is important to me. I couldn’t ask for a better doctor.”
At the Newport Beach Fashion Island location, Brown developed a bond with the staff and a group of multiple myeloma patients who have grown close and dubbed themselves the “MM squad.” Brown said, “I think it’s encouraging for them to see that here I am, seven years after diagnosis and living life; and for me, the sense of camaraderie, and being able to share and listen and empathize in a way somebody who doesn’t have multiple cannot, has been very special.”
For now, because the clinical trial takes place at City of Hope’s Duarte campus, Brown primarily sees Dr. Krishnan there. She looks forward to being able to continue her trial locally when the new City of Hope comprehensive cancer campus opens in Irvine in 2022. She stays in close touch with her MM squad through social events and lots of calls and emails.
Brown is grateful that life-changing cancer care is available right here in Orange County for her, and for her family and friends if they should need it one day. “When you have the right doctor, one who is focused 24-7 on treating and curing cancer and is knowledgeable about the latest scientific advances, you get precisely the right treatment at the right time,” Brown said. “There should not be any barriers to getting the best possible cancer care. City of Hope is eliminating that barrier by bringing its expertise and compassion directly into our neighborhoods.”
Hope is growing at City of Hope Orange County. Our new locations in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach Lido and Irvine Sand Canyon join City of Hope Newport Beach Fashion Island to form a four-location network of highly specialized cancer care. To make an appointment at any of our four Orange County locations, click here or call:
- Newport Beach Fashion Island: (949) 763-2204
- Newport Beach Lido: (949) 999-1400
- Irvine Sand Canyon: (949) 333-7580
- Huntington Beach: (714) 252-9415