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--Nurse Leaders Believe the Improved Support will Increase Patient Compliance--

North Hollywood, CA, and Philadelphia, PA. May 14, 2008 -- The Nurse Leadership Board (NLB), of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) will publish important new guidelines to help nurses and patients make the best use of new therapies that can contribute to longer survival for myeloma patients. In recent years three new treatments, REVLIMID®, THALOMID® and VELCADE® (lenalidomide, thalidomide and bortezomib) have dramatically changed the outlook for patients with myeloma and related blood cancers. However, for some patients these therapies may be associated with side effects that can present unique challenges. 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.

The guidelines are officially called "Management of Side Effects of Novel Therapies for Multiple Myeloma: Consensus Statements Developed by the International Myeloma Foundation's Nurse Leadership Board." Plans to develop them were first announced last year, and now the completed guidelines will be presented in an accredited satellite symposium in conjunction with the 33rd Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) in Philadelphia on May 16th, to be followed by publication in the June issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing*.

"Not knowing what to expect can discourage patients from continuing their treatments, while knowledge, support and intervention can improve adherence to their therapeutic regimen," said NLB member Patricia A. Mangan, APRN, BC, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

NLB member Beth Faiman, RN, MSN, APRN, BC, AOCN, Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic added: "With nurses educating patients regarding signs of potential side effects and coordinating appropriate medical management, we believe more patients will stay on their medications and continue to reap the full benefit of their therapies."

The Nurse Leadership Board is a unique partnership between the IMF and 20 oncology nurses from leading centers treating myeloma in the United States. The guidelines provide a vehicle for expert oncology nurses to formally share their knowledge and experience with community-based colleagues who may see few myeloma cases each year.

"We are pleased to see the International Myeloma Foundation using their nurse leaders to full advantage to empower other nurses to help their patients," said Paula Rieger, RN, MSN, AOCN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of ONS. "Oncology nurses are closely involved in their patients' care, play an active role in educating patients before and during their therapies, and offer support and solutions when problems arise. These guidelines will provide nurses with an important new tool to enhance the treatment of patients with myeloma."

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma is a cancer in the bone marrow affecting production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. The guidelines address specific side effects of therapies including the risk of blood clots, gastrointestinal problems, suppressed blood cell production, peripheral nerve damage (neuropathy), and side effects from steroids that may accompany the newer treatments.

*Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, June 2008: supplement to Volume 12, number 3

 

ABOUT The International Myeloma Foundation
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 165,000 members in 113 countries worldwide.  A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses in four key areas: research, education, support and advocacy. To date, the IMF has conducted more than 100 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned hotline, and operates Bank on a Cure®, a unique gene bank to advance myeloma research. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE. The global Website is www.myeloma.org with a companion Website in Spanish at www.myelomala.org.

CONTACTS:
International Myeloma Foundation: Diane Moran 800-452-2873
Media: Jennifer Anderson or Stephen Gendel 212-918-4650
ONS: Jeanette Kent 412-859-6246