Nurses publish myeloma guidelines

Paper by Kathy Lilleby will help oncology nurses manage and patients cope with the side effects of multiple- myeloma therapy
Kathy Lilleby
Kathy Lilleby, a nurse in the Clinical Research Division with a copy of the June issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. The journal contains guidelines developed by Lilleby and colleagues to maximize newer therapies for myeloma patients. Photo by Carol Insalaco

Kathy Lilleby, an oncology nurse in the Clinical Research Division, and colleagues have published new guidelines to help maximize therapies for myeloma patients.

First announced last year, the completed guidelines were launched during a satellite symposium in conjunction with the 33rd Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society in Philadelphia in May. Entitled “Management of Side Effects of Novel Therapies for Multiple Myeloma: Consensus Statements Developed by the International Myeloma Foundation’s Nurse Leadership Board,” the guidelines now appear in the June issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

The guidelines detail specific protocols and procedures nurses can use to help myeloma patients optimize their treatments, manage side effects and receive the support they need. In recent years, the use of lenalidomide, thalidomide and bortezomib have dramatically changed the outlook for patients with myeloma and related blood cancers.
“The guidelines will help nurses caring for patients receiving these newer drugs, which have different side-effect profiles than standard chemotherapy, said Lilleby a NLB member who has been working on protocols for patients with multiple myeloma and on protocols for autologous transplantation with Dr. Bill Bensinger since 1992.

The second most common blood cancer, multiple myeloma occurs in the bone marrow, affecting production of red cells, white cells, platelets and stem cells. Complications that may be associated with novel myeloma treatments include the risk of blood clots, gastrointestinal problems, low blood counts and peripheral nerve damage.

The NLB is a partnership between the IMF, the world’s oldest and largest myeloma organization, and 20 oncology nurses from leading centers treating myeloma in the United States. The IMF's new guidelines provide a vehicle through which expert oncology nurses can formally share their knowledge and experience with community-based colleagues who may see few myeloma cases each year.
[Adapted from an International Myeloma Foundation news release.]

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