-- NLB Poster at the International Myeloma Workshop Represents a
Major Advance in Nursing Care --
North Hollywood, CA, and Kos, Greece, July 2, 2007 -- The Nurse Leadership Board (NLB), of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) presented a poster entitled "Nurse Guidelines for Enhanced Patient Care," at the 11th International Myeloma Workshop, a meeting involving more than 1600 people this past week in Greece. The guidelines represent specific protocols and procedures nurses can use to help myeloma patients optimize their treatments, manage side effects and receive the support they need. The Nurse Leadership Board is a unique partnership between the IMF and 20 oncology nurses from leading centers treating myeloma in the United States. It provides an opportunity for nurses from these cancer centers to share their expertise with colleagues in community based settings who may see few myeloma cases each year.
"We believe this presentation represents a groundbreaking opportunity for these nurses at a major medical meeting, validating the valuable services the NLB provides," said Susie Novis, president and co-founder of the IMF. "Myeloma patients and their families face unique challenges during the course of their treatment. The NLB guidelines provide nurses with the specific information they need to support their patients during these critical periods in their care."
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, the second most common of the blood cancers, is a cancer in the bone marrow affecting production of red cells, white cells and stem cells. In their presentation, the nurses addressed complications that may be associated with the "novel" myeloma treatments - newer regimens that help extend the lives of patients, but which may be accompanied by their own unique set of side effects including the risk of blood clots, gastrointestinal problems, and peripheral nerve damage (neuropathy).
The presentation notes that when they occur, these adverse effects may decrease patients' willingness to continue with the treatment as prescribed. The guidelines are intended to provide strategies to help increase patient compliance that in turn may help patients realize the full benefits of their therapies and improve their quality of life.
"Healthcare is a team effort," said Kena Miller, R.N. "Physicians make the decisions, but nurses implement the treatment and help manage the patients' response to their care."
"We get to know these patients well, and understand what they may be facing, even when they may not know what to ask on their own," said Deborah Doss, R.N. "That means when patients say 'oh, my feet are cold,' I know they could have peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage, a concept that may not be familiar to most patients."
The poster presentation details each area covered by the NLB guidelines. The guidelines themselves are being prepared for journal publications.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
The International Myeloma Foundation is the oldest and largest myeloma organization, reaching more than 135,000 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 120 educational seminars worldwide, maintains 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 or www.myeloma.org, and in Spanish at www.myelomala.org.