Myeloma: making sense of a complex blood cancer
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Kelly, Mary, Meenaghan, Teresa, & Dowling, Maura. (2010). Myeloma: making sense of a complex blood cancer. British Journal of Nursing, 19(22), 1415-1421. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2010.19.22.1415
Myeloma is a challenging blood cancer characterized by bone destruction, hypercalcaemia, renal insufficiency and anaemia. Although myeloma remains incurable, recent advancements in treatments have resulted in significant improvements in morbidity. The use of immunomodulatory drugs—thalidomide, lenalidomide, pomalidomide (in clinical trials)—and the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy and supportive therapies, have resulted in a significant shift in approaches to treatment and an improvement in patients’ quality of life. Nurses must remain up-to-date with current treatments for myeloma and their related side-effects. In addition, nurses play a key role in the coordination of a multidisciplinary approach to care for myeloma patients.