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Clinical Updates in Blood and Marrow Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma

Beth Faiman
Teresa Miceli
Kimberly Noonan
Kathryn Lilleby
CJON 2013, 17(6), 33-41 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.S2.33-41

The process of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is well defined, yet debate remains surrounding the role and timing of HSCT in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Since the 1980s, survival advances have been made with the use of newer agents by recognizing the role of transplantation, identifying the anticipated side effects at each phase, and improving supportive care strategies. Data support transplantation as part of the treatment strategy, but the optimal induction regimen and timing of transplantation have yet to be defined. The general consensus is that eligible patients should undergo autologous HSCT at some point in the treatment spectrum, preferably earlier rather than later in the disease. Allogeneic transplantation is only recommended in the context of a clinical trial and in patients with high-risk disease. The transplantation process can be overwhelming for patients and caregivers. Nurses play a key role in improving outcomes by caring for patients and families throughout the transplantation experience and, therefore, need to be knowledgeable about the process. This article is intended to expand discussion on the role of nurses in assisting patients and families undergoing transplantation to include an overview of the acute care phase of the transplantation process.

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